joeb-sun (Folding Fan)

About this object

History of use

Folding fans were used by members of the official “Yangban” class, and sometimes by women of other classes. Korean folding fans were very well-made, and were exported to China and Japan during the Koryo and Chosun Periods. Some had a large number of fine ribs.

Iconographic meaning

The bamboo leaf design on the sides of the fan suggest that the fan was used by a scholar, and it symbolizes loyalty and faith.

Physical description

A closing fan with twenty-six inner ribs of split bamboo varnished dark brown on the base of each side and two bamboo parent ribs of natural colour each set into a piece of dark rosewood through which passes a brass rivet. Abstract design painted in light brown on the parent ribs. One side of the fan is covered with light brown paper, unpainted. To the ring on the rivet, there is attached a knotted purple silk cord, 23 cm. long, on which there is threaded a carnelian carving of a monkey holding a peach (missing as of 2006). Below the monkey, there hangs a flat knotted tassel of purple silk bound with multi-coloured thread.