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The Korean-Arts

Newsletter for November 3, 2007


New Items


Ginseng Tea

On Sale Now
Christmas Shipping

About Korea: Korean furniture



New Items

*     Furniture


Lattice Door End Table

We are proud to offer a large selection of handmade Korean furniture from the Lattice Door End Table, shown at left, to large rollaway folding bars that hold wine, spirits, glasses and make a great centerpiece for entertaining. Some of the other items available are, a scholar's table such as those used by the aristocracy of the Chosun Dynsasty for writing calligraphy, wedding chests (Ham), that are sold to the bride's family by the groom's friends the eve of the wedding, medicine chests that have individual drawers for each different kind of herb, cosmetic boxes with fold up mirrors, large jewelry boxes, hat boxes, letter boxes, and scroll boxes. See all our new furniture here, or all of our new items here. Do you have a special request? Let us know what kind of furniture you would like us to carry and we will do our best to put it on the web.



*     Ginseng Tea


Korean Red Ginseng Tea Powder Gold

All the same health benefits of ginseng extract and ginseng roots, but oh so much easier to prepare. One packet dissolved in hot water (we feel it is best with a bit of honey) makes a healthful cup of ginseng tea of which the health benefits are said to be an increase in the resistance to stress (it acts as an adaptogen), and anticarcinogenic and antioxidant properties. We have three kinds available which include the Korean Red ginseng Tea Powder shown at right, which is made from six year old 100% Korean grown ginseng, and two other types. See all our teas here, or all our new items here.



On Sale Now


Red Peony Centerpiece Bowl



The beautiful Red Peony Centerpiece Bowl shown at right is marked down $15 to $85 and is one of our most popular gift items. Forty other items are on sale including a Fish-shaped Vase, crane and cloud cup sets, many vase and bottle sets, incense burners, fans, scroll paintings, and more. Sale items make great, and economical, Christmas gifts. See all our sale items here.



Christmas Shipping


Please plan ahead. Our deadline for Christmas gifts via Standard shipping is December 7, and December 14 for Express shipping (Korea time). Although Standard/Express shipping times are generally 7-12 and 3-5 days, respectively, to North America, and a few days more to Europe, there may be some delays due to the Christmas rush. Please plan ahead and order early. We cannot promise orders received after these dates will arrive by Christmas. See more details here.



  About Korea: Korean Furniture


Mirror or cosmetic box

Due to the harsh winters in Korea, the use of ondol, floor heating, has been in use for the last 1000 years and it is this unique heating system, which in the past used a series of flues to direct hot air from a fire under the floors but now uses hot water, that has led to the development of the Korean style of furniture. The warm floor was the most comfortable place to sit and so there were no chairs to speak of and people generally sat on low cushions or mats in the middle of the floor where it was warmest. The furniture, which included closed chests for holding clothes and books, open chests for displaying items of beauty, low tables, stands, screens, and various small chests and boxes for scrolls, documents and writing materials in the men's rooms and makeup and jewelry cases in the women's rooms (upper class houses in the Chosun Dynasty were segregated into men's and women's areas), were placed around the edges of the room near the walls where the floor was not so warm, and small portable tables and cushions were moved to the center of the room when needed, thus giving the room a sparse yet, clean and elegant feel. In spite of the furniture being near the cooler edges of the room, the bottoms of the pieces where usually raised on legs to protect them from the heat of the floor, and items without legs were placed on small stands to protect them. The mirror or cosmetic box shown at the upper left is a beautiful example of traditional Korean furniture that dates from the late Chosun Dynsasty in about 1800-1900. It is made of zelkova amboyna wood and is decorated with brass plates. See a similar item from our new collection here.

Nineteenth century latticed book cabinet

The most common piece of furniture found in upper class homes of the Chosun Dynasty were the Ban-da-ji, or half closing chest (a blanket chest) and were generally used for clothing. These and other items of furniture were made from zelkova (a variety of elm), amboyna, paulownia, pear, cherry, persimmon, oak, and pine wood which are all local trees that grow in abundance in Korea. They were usually decorated with brass or iron fittings in the shape of objects from nature such as gourds, pears and tigers. Other common pieces were book cabinets such as the nineteenth century latticed book cabinet shown above right. The lower panels are made of zelkova wood which is known for its dramatic grain pattern, while the rest is framed in pine and is set with iron pull rings and hinges. See a similar item from our furniture collection here.

End table

     One of the unique characteristics of Korean furniture, which is shared by other Korean arts such as ceramics and paintings, is the use of subtle beauty to entice the eye and imagination of the admirer rather than overwhelm the senses with bright colors and gaudy designs such as some of the bright blue and white ceramics or brightly colored cabinets found in Chinese art. The end table shown above left is a perfect example of this and the subtle tones of the wood and sparse brass fittings do not demand ones attention or tire the mind but simply add a sense of peace and serenity to the room. Loud and colorful furniture, on the other hand, tends to look good at first but tires the eyes and mind after continued exposure and does not contribute to a sense of restful peace. The end table above is made of pear tree wood and set with brass fittings. See a similar piece from our furniture collection here.





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The Korean-Arts staff



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