Overall: 3.9 cm (1 9/16 in.)
Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1917.1050
The Japanese antique dealer Yamanaka & Company, which opened its branches in New York (1895) and Boston (1899), sold small Korean archaeological materials such as this bronze ornament to American collectors in the early 20th century.
Both everyday objects and ornaments such as this belt ornament were standard for Goryeo-period (918-1392) burial goods. Furnishing tombs with an elaborate assemblage of objects was believed to honor and comfort the newly dead. Generally, Goryeo tombs were left untouched until the late 19th century. During the colonial period (1910–45), however, Japanese archaeologists aggressively excavated the tombs located in Kaeseong, the former capital of the Goryeo period. Highly possibly came from one of those excavated tomb sites, this bronze ornament evokes a memory about the colonized Korea (1910-1945).
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