Paper Stand

unknownRepublic of Korea/Joseon Dynasty

National Folk Museum of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea
Seoul, South Korea

This is a stationery item used to store rolls of paper or sheets of letter paper for easy access. A library was often favored by scholars for studying, and therefore its décor often avoided extravagant sculptures and metal decorations, while using elegant and simple objects. As one of such objects, a paper stand generally takes a cylindrical, hexagonal, or octagonal form. The paper stand resembles a brush holder, but the former is taller and wider than the latter. Paper holders may consist of a single container that keeps several rolls of paper together, or include containers with different sizes to store paper rolls separately by size. In the latter type, each holder resembles a brush stand. Paper holders were used with the Four Treasures of the Study in a guestroom where scholars would spend most of their time, and placed on top of a stationery chest or a shelf, or simply on the floor for large holders. Most were made of wood, ceramics, or paper, and some had decorations on the surface. The wood generally used for the paper holder is paulownia wood, which is light, dull, and soft for a reserved sense of aesthetics, and sometimes, hardwood was additionally used to reinforce the paulownia wood. Bamboo paper holders were made by binding together bamboo strips, while ceramics paper holders were decorated with patterns in openwork and relief work, as well as paintings in blue ink or in copper. As for paper stands made of paper, Korean traditional paper was pasted in layers before paintings or colors were applied on the surface, then the paper was rubbed with oils from perilla, soybean, caster, or camellia and hardened. The paper stand shown here was made using plates to form an octagonal mouth and pasting layers of paper before applying color. The surface shows engraved patterns of apricot flowers and bamboos, which signify fidelity and longevity respectively. The stand features embossed patterns created by cutting thick paper along the outlines of the patterns and placing the cuttings on top of the patterns. The top part of the inside was raised, and the top and bottom parts on the surface are edged to support the overall structure. The stand base has no separate foot and was created about 10 mm above the floor so that its body serves as the foot.

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  • Title: Paper Stand
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: Republic of Korea/Joseon Dynasty
  • Location: 한국
  • Physical Dimensions: Height 14.4 Diameter 16.1
  • Type: Housing/Daily Supplies/Family Heirloom Item/Stationery/Paper Stand
  • Medium: Paper