Mother of Pearl Document Storage Box Inlaid with Carp and Peony Design
This lacquered document storage box is decorated with a mother of pearl design in which a pair of carp jumps out of the water in a dramatic pose. The details of the fish, including scales and fins as well as the foam, are captured in minute detail. A favorite subject for arts and crafts in Korea and China, carp symbolize the success in life; this representation comes from a Chinese legend in which the fish became a dragon as soon as it arrived at the head of the Yellow River in spring. In Korea, it is also a symbol of filial piety following a folk tale in which a son searches deep mountain valleys in the middle of winter to catch the fish for his aged mother.
The design of fully bloomed peony blossoms decorating this document case is delightfully raised above the surface as if carved in relief. The stems and leaves of the peony are expressed by using the inner layer of mother of pearl, whereas the blossoms are by using the outer layer of mother of pearl. The fully open peony blossom is traditionally a symbol of wealth and nobility. Read More