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A Study on Glass Mirror Trade and its Characteristics of Craft after Joseon Dynasty

조선 후기 유리거울의 수입과 공예품의 특징

  • Park, Jinkyung (Dept. of Art History, Hongik University Graduate School)
  • 박진경 (홍익대학교 미술사학과)
  • Received : 2019.09.30
  • Accepted : 2019.11.12
  • Published : 2019.12.30

Abstract

This paper examines the trade and development aspects of glass mirrors through the literature records of the Joseon Dynasty, and studies the characteristics of existing glass mirror crafts by referring to the terms and types shown in the literature. The glass mirror in the records had called western mirrors(西洋鏡, 洋鏡), glass mirrors(玻璃鏡, 玻瓈鏡), stone mirrors(石鏡), etc. Glass mirrors were imported mainly through trade with Russia and the Qing Dynasty since the 17th century and were banned from importation in the late Joseon Dynasty. These mirrors were something new that caused a great stirring in Joseon society in the 18th century, and in the 19th century, it grew larger as a commodity needed for everyday life, especially with trade with Japan. At that time, glass mirrors were used for various purposes, such as installing large glass at a store, which were not the standard mirror usage of confirming one's appearance. These mirrors surprised Koreans in Joseon who experienced them at Yanjing Liulichang(燕京 琉璃廠) in the 18th and 19th centuries. As a result, the demand for glass mirrors rapidly increased and quickly surpassed that of bronze mirrors. Consequentially, new crafts using glass mirrors instead of bronze mirrors in Joseon began to be produced and used after the 18th century. In particular, integrated flat boards of glass mirrors were developed as crafts used indoors. It was convenient to use the hair comb box, a long-time presence in Joseon society, with the bronze mirror. This kind of mirror remained apparent in various genre paintings, including the Taepyeong Seongsido(太平城市圖, 'A Thriving City in a Peaceful Era') collected the National Museum of Korea which reflect its populism of the times. Also, the Mirror Stand(鏡臺) used in the Qing Period was produced in Joseon, but there was a difference in the way of making the drawers and box shapes between two nations. On the other hand, the Face Mirror(面鏡) was made to look at the face. Various crafts made with the aesthetic sense of Joseon, such as the ox horn inlaying craft technique, were produced with auspicious designs. In the 19th century, glass mirrors were imported from European countries, such as France, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, however after the end of the 19th century Japanese crafts were popular. Glass mirrors, which were popular in the Meiji and Taisho eras of Japan, were imported and also the Mirror Screen(鏡屛) using large glass mirrors were used. In particular, the mirror screen had developed wood furniture since the previous time, which were used for banquets and large spaces, such as the drawing room, and were imported from China and Japan. In addition, the western architectural effect of attaching a mirror to the wall was also attempted to adjust the brightness of the space and introduce another image and scenery in the mirror. This was done at Deoksugung Palace's Seokjojeon.

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