Black Persimmon Nong

Black persimmon, red oak, paulownia, pine; nickel fittings, natural lacquer 

Early to mid-nineteenth century; Ch'ungch'ong Province 
Height Width Depth

One exceptional feature of this nong is the black persimmon mirrored panels of its doors. These are highlighted with nested borders, the inside one black persimmon and the outside light persimmon; and both of these doors are surrounded by a dark frame of red oak. The drawers at the top of the chest also sport this delicate touch. 
The texture of the paulownia front panels is especially distinctive in this piece. (Take a look at the "Woods combination" photo to see the texture.) The paulownia wood was either rubbed with black ink (mokch'il) or singed with a hot iron to draw out the resin, then rubbed with drying oil, and then lacquered.
Nails used in this chest are the rolled-sheet type traditionally used in the nong. A very thin sheet of brass was heated and rolled into an elongated conical shape; the pointed end was then inserted into a hole already prepared for it. The wider top was then spread outwards, and a bit more pounding into the hole produced a rounded head. (The rolling provided strength to the relatively weak brass. The stronger bandaji nails were made from wrought iron.) See the nail photo.
Yet another unusual feature of this nong is its stand - it is the stand that was made for this chest. Most of the original stands that were made for Chosun chests have disappeared over the years.
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Woods combination




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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

12. Pine framed bandaji

13. Red pine bandaji