Wrapping Cloth with Phoenix Design

Joseon Dynasty

National Palace Museum of Korea

National Palace Museum of Korea
Seoul, South Korea

Wrapping cloths of varying materials, sizes, and shapes were widely used in the court of Joseon Dynasty. Besides observing propriety of precious objects, the cloth wraps were household necessities to wrap and cover various items in the living spaces of the royal household, including bedrooms, kitchens, and storehouses. Some of the wrapping cloths, of the National Palace Museum have details indicating the item wrapped, where it was used, production dates, size or quantity, written in ink.
This single layered wrapping cloth, made of one and half widths of unlined red hemp fabric, is also called 'patterned wrapping cloth' because of the paintings on the cloth. Strings are attached to two corners in a diagonal line, and inside of them is reinforced with square fabric which was used to fasten the strings.
A pair of phoenixes at the center are surrounded by bead and lightning patterns, and around them, the symbols of longevity and eight small circles containing the Chinese characters “聖·壽·萬·歲(Holiness, Longevity, Ten Thousand, Years)” are placed in turn. The edges of the wrap are decorated with a peony design. The background is filled with flowers and arabesque designs, and strings are painted with spiral patterns. The entirety of the designs contains auspicious wishes for longevity, wealth, security, and prosperity for descendants. Attached at the inner-end of one string, is a declaration written in ink, stating that this cloth was made by connecting one and half widths of red-dyed cloth.


  • Title: Wrapping Cloth with Phoenix Design
  • Date Created: Joseon Dynasty
  • Rights: National palace museum of Korea
  • Medium: Ornamental accessories

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