About this object

History of use

Doll is a member of a family of dolls (see N3.60 a-b, N3.62, N3.63 and N3.64). It is likely that this set of dolls was custom-made for presentation to foreigners. They show typical Korean clothes, which were made with accurate detail of form, material, and technique for these dolls. This type of clothing was normally worn by young boys not yet old enough to go to school, age 3-4. Boys of school age wore a long robe with a long vest over it.

Iconographic meaning

Doll represents a young son in the family of dolls. The clothing and ornaments indicate that the doll was part of the yangban class, the highest social class during the late Chonson Dynasty. The long waist-tie around the jacket “chogori” normally indicates that the wearer is a small child age 5-6. The relatively wide outer neck facing indicates that the wearer is a boy. The gold ornaments on his hair ribbon represent gold stamps of Chinese characters with lucky meanings, such as long life and wealth. The rainbow sleeves “saek-dong” represent good luck for children.

Specific techniques

Jacket “chogori” is finished with invisible, concealed seams. Sash is doubled over and pasted together. Socks are sewn with a centre seam just like real socks.

Physical description

Doll representing a male figure carved out of wood with articulated shoulders and ankles. His face and hands are painted white with hair, eyebrows and eyes painted in black, and a mouth painted in pink. A braid hangs down his back, tied at the top with a long black ribbon on one half of which are adhered four square gold decorative elements. He wears a very pale blue hip-length silk jacket lined in white, lapped to his right and tied at the waist with a separate pink sash tied in a single-loop bow. The sleeves of the jacket are made of parallel bands of various bright colours. The jacket has a self-facing at the neck and a narrower white facing. Under it is a white cotton jacket that is slightly shorter. The figure wears full white cotton pants tucked into ankle wrappings which extend over white socks.