Linden Bandaji 

Linden (lime) wood, iron fittings with brass nails; loess under lacquer. 

Early twentieth century, Hamhung (North Korea); to South Korea through China. 
Height Width Depth
Inches 28 30.5 15
Centimeters 72 78 38

This is called a sungsungi bandaji.. Sungsungi means perforated, and it refers to the openwork iron fittings. In the center of the "South Gate" closeup you can see the familiar South Gate motif.
The brass nails that are used to affix the iron fittings (and prompted me to call this chest "the sparkler") are unusual on a bandaji chest - most bandajis have only wrought iron fittings. Fittings were more prominent on northern chests because woods with decorative grains were not as plentiful there as they were in the south. While this chest is quite refined in its restraint, some chests from the north are garrish in their heavy trappings.
To protect and darken the raw wood the craftsman rubbed a paste of loess clay softened with water or vegetable oil into the wood, and then wiped it off before it dried completely. Over this he applied a lacquer finish.
In spite of this chest's aristocratic features and appearance, it is not regarded by antiques specialists as being part of the dynasty tradition because it was crafted at the turn of the century, after the dynasty and its way of life ended.
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South Gate
Angle view
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