Our special exhibition In Grand Style showcases this ceremonial hairpin with phoenix from the 1920s. It’s made of gilded silver, jade, pearl, feather and blue and red glass stones.
It was owned by Crown Princess Uimin (1901–1989), born as Princess Masako in Japan. Together with her husband, Imperial Crown Prince Yeong (1897–1970), the crown princess witnessed the end of the Joseon dynasty, the short-lived Korean Empire, and the new Republic of Korea.
The design and production of these hairpins (specially used for special occasions) were meticulously planned. Many specialized artisans were involved in the making of one hairpin. Sculpting, gilding, silverwork, and welding were done by different hands. No jewels were artificially sculpted or cut, allowing the innate beauty of each material to shine. The accessories of the crown princess demonstrate the mastery of craftsmanship at the end of the Joseon dynasty.
Ceremonial hairpin with phoenix. Japanese Colonial Period (1910–1945). One of a pair; gilded silver, jade, pearl, feather, blue and red glass stones, Important Folklore Cultural Heritage of Korea no. 265. National Palace Museum of Korea, Returned from Tokyo National Museum in 1992.