Korean Art and Antiques

Very Rare 18th Century Coin Chest, Zelkova Wood on all six sides

Very Rare 18th Century Coin Chest, Zelkova Wood on all six sides


browse these categories for related items...
Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Korean: Furniture: Pre 1800: Item # 1404419

Please refer to our stock # 1421 when inquiring.
Korean Art and Antiques
View Seller Profile
400 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
917-675-1369

Guest Book
 $400.00 
Very Rare 18th Century Korean Coin Chest (Donkwe) with all six sides made of Zelkova Wood. You will never find another like this. With zelkova wood supplies dwindling at the end of the 18th Century, Koreans started making coin chests of zelkova on 4 sides, and pine on 2 sides. By the end of the 19th Century, coin chests were made either entirely of pine, or pine on 4 sides and zelkova on 2 sides. You will never find an older or more beautiful piece of Korean antique furniture. Coin chests are highly prized by collectors, as their purpose required that they be the heaviest and most well constructed piece of furniture in the home. Paper money did not exist in Joseon Dynasty Korea, and the coins were of very small denominations. They had to be strung together in large, heavy quantities to have any worth, so a strong money box was a necessity. Here's a funny quote from 1898 on Korean money by Mattie Ingold, an American missionary physician who worked in Jeonju: "If Korean money were proportionately as great in value as it is in weight and clumsiness, the Koreans would be a very wealthy people." This coin chest is likely the oldest one to be offered for sale. It is missing the lock plate, but is otherwise in good condition. 28w x 17d x 17h inches, 71w x 43d x 43h cm.