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Base for Temple Object

Asian Art

MEDIUM Wood, pigment
DATES ca. 17th century
DYNASTY Joseon Dynasty
DIMENSIONS 9 13/16 × 25 3/8 × 10 1/4 in. (25.0 × 64.5 × 26.0 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Asian Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 2019.45.1
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Carroll Family Collection
RIGHTS STATEMENT
CAPTION Base for Temple Object, ca. 17th century. Wood, pigment, 9 13/16 × 25 3/8 × 10 1/4 in. (25.0 × 64.5 × 26.0 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Carroll Family Collection, 2019.45.1 (Photo: , CUR.2019.45.1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, CUR.2019.45.1.jpg., 2019
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Turtle-shaped furnishing element, carved in wood, designed to serve as the wide, heavy base for a vertical element such as a lamp stand, drum, or ritual object, to be used in a temple setting or possibly in a palace. The turtle has small feet and dramatically protruding head and tail, with a lotus flower surrounding the mortice where the upper element would have tenoned into the base. The turtle's head and tail are reminiscent of those of a dragon, indicating its mythical nature. It stands on a flat platform with low legs. The figure is painted with much of the pigment still visible. Turtles are popular subjects for furnishing bases because of multiple traditions in which a turtle (or tortoise) is said to support Mount Meru, the central point and axis around which the world or universe revolves. Turtles are also popular emblems of longevity.
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 <em>Base for Temple Object</em>, ca. 17th century. Wood, pigment, 9 13/16 × 25 3/8 × 10 1/4 in. (25.0 × 64.5 × 26.0 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Carroll Family Collection, 2019.45.1 (Photo: , CUR.2019.45.1.jpg)