Chest with a Front Flap Door

unknownRepublic of Korea/Joseon Dynasty

National Folk Museum of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea

Bandaji is a chest whose front side was divided into two parts and the upper part was made into a hinged flap door. In some regions, it was called apdaji (ap means front) as the drop-down door was placed on the front. Some bandaji had a smaller rectangular drop-down door at the center of the front panel, which were called doghole bandaji. Bandaji was one of the most universal pieces of furniture regardless of social class, but its decorations, shape, and inner structure varied depending on the region, usage, and affluence. The chest was used to store clothes as well as other household items such as books, documents, dishes, and valuables. As the height of bandaji was shorter than that of a closet and its door was located on the front, bedding and other household goods were placed on the top board. The materials used for the chest included wood and metal fittings. The most commonly used wood was pinewood, which was easy to obtain and process, while zelkova wood, lime wood, elm wood and chinaberry wood were also used for their resilience and beautiful grain. The body of the chest was made by joining the panels made out of the said trees. The chest had four feet at the bottom, and some had drawers or shelves installed inside. The panels of the body were connected with butt joints, finger joints or dovetail joints. The metal fittings were mainly made of steel, and brass and nickel were also used. The metal fittings served functional purposes: the locks served to prevent theft; the hinges joined together the panels; the large metal staples and corner fittings reinforced connecting parts; the handles ensured easy access and portability; and the metal plates under the handle or the lock, corner fittings, and large metal staples helped to protect the wood from external shock. The metal fittings also functioned as decoration. Craftsmen and users were able to express prevalent ideas about the pursuit of happiness and the aesthetic sensibilities of the time by employing the characteristics of metal, which can be molded into any desired shape and carved into various designs.

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  • Title: Chest with a Front Flap Door
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: Republic of Korea/Joseon Dynasty
  • Location: 한국
  • Physical Dimensions: Height 67 Length 43.5 Width 87.5
  • Type: Housing/Daily Supplies/Family Heirloom Item/Furniture/Chest with Hinged Front Flap
  • Medium: Wood/Zelkova