Zelkova Jang

Zelkova burl panels, zelkova ribs, yellow brass fittings; clear natural lacquer. 

Early twentieth century; Kyong'gi Province 

This type of chest, formally known as a "won-ang sam-chung jang," can be considered a member of the morijang family. The morijang is a one-level chest used for clothing and bedding, with three small drawers along the top; the "won-ang" consists of three levels. The mirror effect of the juxtaposed panels is wrought by slitting the wood and using the inside surface of each piece as the outside surface of each panel. (Also see the black persimmon nong for a really stunning example of the mirror technique.) Note the mirror effect in the ribs, too. Antiques specialists prefer the narrow ribs of this chest to the broader ribs of many others of the same type. 
This piece has undergone some restoration: some of the fittings, the wood panels on its sides, the stand, and parts of its infra-structure have been replaced at one or another time during its 100-year existence . The important front panels and ribs are original; the doors seem to be--they are definitely very old--but they may have been cannibalized from another old piece (suspected because of directions in Chinese characters, inside the doors, that are not consistent with the doors' arrangement). The drawers at the top are original; they have their original bamboo nails and fit perfectly. Buyer beware: The seller of this piece swore that it was all original "except for a couple fittings." I should have been suspicious when she refused to give me a certificate. Since the photo was taken in Korea, the chest, adjusting to a drier climate in Los Angeles, experienced a two-inch fissure in the frame at the top.
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1. Black paulownia nong

2. Linden bandaji

3. Zelkova burl jang

4. Paulownia ham

5. Red paulownia nong

6. Wild walnut nong

7. Red pine ham

8. Cherry bandaji

9. Zelkova bandaji

10. Persimmon nong

11. Zelkova lattice jang

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