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Funerary Sedan Chair

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, South, 2nd floor
This miniature sedan had long poles running through the holes in the base so it could be carried on the shoulders of footmen. It mimics the style and shape of palanquins used for transport of aristocratic women, but its small size indicates that it was used in funeral processions. It would have held an inscribed tablet believed to represent the spirit of the deceased. The tablet accompanied the coffin to the burial site, then was taken to the family ancestral shrine, where it was installed and worshipped regularly by surviving family members. As funeral rites became simpler in modern times, these miniature palanquins fell out of favor. Today they are extremely rare.
MEDIUM Wood, metal, paper
  • Place Made: Korea
  • DATES 19th century
    DYNASTY Joseon Dynasty
    DIMENSIONS 34 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (87.6 x 52.1 x 64.1 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Designated Purchase Fund
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1985, provenance not yet documented; by 1985, acquired by Kang Collection Korean Art, New York, NY; 1985, purchased from Kang Collection Korean Art by the Brooklyn Museum.
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    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, South, 2nd floor
    CAPTION Funerary Sedan Chair, 19th century. Wood, metal, paper, 34 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (87.6 x 52.1 x 64.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Designated Purchase Fund, 85.224. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 85.224_front_doors_closed_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE closed, 85.224_front_doors_closed_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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