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Funerary Sedan Chair

Asian Art

This miniature sedan had long poles running through the holes in the base so it could be carried on the shoulders of footmen. It mimics the style and shape of palanquins used for transport of aristocratic women, but its small size indicates that it was used in funeral processions. It would have held an inscribed tablet believed to represent the spirit of the deceased. The tablet accompanied the coffin to the burial site, then was taken to the family ancestral shrine, where it was installed and worshipped regularly by surviving family members. As funeral rites became simpler in modern times, these miniature palanquins fell out of favor. Today they are extremely rare.
MEDIUM Wood, metal, paper
DATES 19th century
DYNASTY Joseon Dynasty
DIMENSIONS 34 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (87.6 x 52.1 x 64.1 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Asian Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 85.224
CREDIT LINE Designated Purchase Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Funerary Sedan Chair, 19th century. Wood, metal, paper, 34 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (87.6 x 52.1 x 64.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Designated Purchase Fund, 85.224. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 85.224_front_doors_closed_PS9.jpg)
IMAGE closed, 85.224_front_doors_closed_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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