New book on Korean artefacts in Oxford

by Philip Gowman on 26 August, 2011

in Books on Art, Books on traditional culture, General book news, Permanent displays

Oxford’s Bodleian Library announces the publication of a new book on historic Korean artefacts in the University’s collections. It accompanies an exhibition which runs 26 August to 26 September 2011 in the Proscholium at the Bodleian Library:

Korean Treasures: Rare Books, Manuscripts and Artefacts in the Bodleian Libraries and Museums of Oxford University

by Minh Chung (Head of the Bodleian Chinese Studies Library and Korean Collections of the University of Oxford)

Korean Treasures coverManuscripts, rare books, and artefacts related to Korea have been acquired by donations throughout the long history of the Bodleian Libraries and the museums of the University of Oxford. This publication uncovers these treasures and presents them together in a single volume for the first time. Notable items include the court painting scroll of the funeral procession of King Yŏngjo (1694-1776); a presentation edition of a book given by King Yŏngjo to his son-in-law; a group of documents issued by Emperor Kojong (1852-1919) between 1885-1886 to confer various titles to his civil and military officials; a sundial made by the famous maker Kang Yun (1830-1898) for Emperor Kojong; a ceramic dish made and signed by Princess Yi Pangja (1901-1989) as well as a rare example of a suit of armour, an ornate helmet of the early sixteenth century, a general’s quiver and arrows and many more. In addition, this book also gives a general overview of the extent of the Korean book collections in Oxford and locations where some of these treasures can be seen.

“This beautifully illustrated book will be welcomed around the world by scholars and readers with an interest in traditional Korea, and may come as a surprise to many who had not suspected the range of its treasures preserved in Oxford … Its timely publication will provide encouragement to those who believe that Korean culture does not receive the consideration it deserves in the modern West.”
Keith Pratt, Emeritus Professor, University of Durham.

“Genuine treasures abound in this volume, especially among the historical documents (painted funeral scroll, royal appointment certificates, Western religious books), and many rare and unique materials are brought to wider attention for the first time. Superb reproductions are beautifully laid out, with accurate and instructive commentary emphasizing the most valuable items.”
Robert C. Provine, Past President, Association for Korean Studies in Europe, Professor, University of Maryland.

UK £35 or US $60

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