Black Box for Transportation and Storage of the Royal Portrait

Early 20th century

National Palace Museum of Korea

National Palace Museum of Korea

This black box was used to transport or store royal portraits. If a portrait was not hung on the wall, it was stored in the black box. The lid is hinged onto a low and narrow box to hold the scroll of a royal portrait, and feldspar with a delicate floral pattern is attached. The interior of the box is finished with silk. On the back of the container is attached round rings that hold the string to bind the box. It can be seen from the Annals of King Sukjong that it was standard procedure that when a royal portrait was moved, it would be placed in the black box and a palanquin used for transport. According to records during King Yeongjo’s reign, the scroll was wrapped in wrapping cloths, covered with white silk, and placed in the box, and then the empty space was filled with floss silk. Some mothballs in a red silk pouch were also placed in the box, covered with a silk cloth, and then the lid was closed and the lock secured.

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  • Title: Black Box for Transportation and Storage of the Royal Portrait
  • Date Created: Early 20th century
  • Rights: National palace museum of Korea
  • Medium: furniture