Korean ladies, during the Joseon (Choson or Yi) Dynasty, 1392–1910 period, used a unique vanity to apply and store their makeup and fix their hair.  

The vanity box offered here was of such distinctive design that it identifies Korea as its source by its very appearance.  It contained a wooden cover for the makeup and implement compartment which was removed by using the finger hole in the cover.  The mirror was built into the top of the vanity and would swivel to open or close at a low angle.


the vanity offered here

This is a picture of the actual antique Korean lady's vanity being offered.  It was the iconic design during the Chosun Dynasty period.  You can see how closely it resembles the classic one pictured below.  Notice there is a small crack in the lower right corner of the mirror. It seems to add to its ancient charm.

Illustration of Museum displayed vanity

This is a drawing done by the famous Korean illustrator, Kim Man Hee of a similar vanity on exhibit in the Jeon Buk University Museum Collection in Korea. This drawing is in Volume 6 of "Korean Folklore Pictures" by Kim Man Hee.

This view of a Korean bedroom shows why the vanity would be used on the floor or on a very low table by the woman who would be sitting on the floor in the bedroom.  That's the reason the mirror was built to be used at an angle pointing up. 

vanito;y closed

This view shows the vanity with the mirror closed, forming a neat box that blended with the simple design of the bedroom.

vanity empty

This view shows the vanity with the mirror top and the compartment cover removed.

You can see the hand carved details for the sliding parts.

This view with the mirror top removed shows there is a crack in the original mirror in the lower right corner.  There is no way to know if the mirror was cracked 50, 100, or 200 years ago.  It adds a touch of reality to this piece of Korean history.  

showin crack
opening the top

Sliding the mirror top out to open it.


Bottom view of the vanity with the mirror top slightly pulled open.


Inside the vanity with the mirror top removed showing the cover to the inside compartment with the finger hole.

This object will come with this Certificate of Origin from the Okinawa Antique Dealers and Collectors Association.