[KS] Old vase with history, anone has an answer?
adam&eve at henny-savenije.demon.nl
Sun Aug 27 03:43:20 EDT 2000
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Today I received a curious email, with the following content.
>My name is Judd Green. I live in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.
>My father, of the same name, served as a United States Army officer in
>Korea during the Korean War. One of his jobs was to hire Korean civilians
>One of the men he hired was named Kim Sang Soon. Mr. Soon was hired as
>the head cook at the Entertainer's Hotel in, I think, Seoul, Korea.
>My father died in 1981 but before his death he told me the story that went
>with a very old vase that was given to him on October 16, 1951 by Mr. Soon.
>My father was due to rotate back to the US and fellow officers, enlisted
>men and all the civilians he gave jobs to threw a going away party for
>him. A band that played at the party was called The Rhythm Kings. After
>the party Mr. Soon approached my father and handed him a vase. He told my
>father it was to thank my dad for saving his life and the lives of his
>family by giving him a job.
>My father told me it would have been an insult not to take the vase so he
>packed it and brought it home with him. When he unpacked it, he found a
>2-page letter inside written by Mr. Soon in his own hand.
>The letter says, quote:
> Now I like to report to you about history of Chinese made flower base
> which I gave you on 16 Oct. 1951 at the party for you by the Rhythm
> King. My grand grand father went to China by order of Korean King the
> Lee Dynasty as the ambassador to China, and the Chief Staff of the Army
> of China gave this flower base to my grand grand father. The name of the
> General is Lee Hong Jang in Korean pronunciation who is very famous in
> history. My father gave this flower base to me with this story and I
> took it to my best curio of my family keeping it with me all the
> time. And I had to go down to Pusan as the refuge when the Chinese
> Communist pushed down to the Capital in month January 1951. I show this
> one to a professional curio collector to find out how it is old and
> valuable. And I found it is about 3 or 4 hundred years old and how and
> it is very expensive. Now I'm very happy to present this one to you upon
> your kindness to me. I'm no sure how it's valuable but that is the best
>one I have. Please take this to your home and put in your living room.
> Kim Sang Soon
> Head Cook of
>My father kept this vase until he died and it was then passed on to me. I
>have kept it for all these years along with the original letter from Mr. Soon.
>The vase is approximately 6" high, 7' wide and has two small handles on
>the top, one on each side. It is wrapped in brown leather that looks like
>it was indented all over. It also has a very intricate design of inlaid
>mother-of-pearl all around the vase going about half way down. It is a
>striking piece and I have never seen anything close to it and I've been
>looking for 40 years.
>A long time ago a curator from the Indianapolis Museum of Art looked at it
>and told me it appeared the vase was Chinese in origin and that the
>leather wrapping and inlaid mother-of-pearl design was most likely put on
>after it came back to Korea. The curator said the design of the pearl
>indicates Korean royalty.
>I am looking for a direction to go in authenticating the vase and
>determining its value. Obviously, if General Jang can be located in the
>history books, I believe this vase would be of considerable interest to
>someone, possibly a Korean art collector or Chinese art collector.
>I have photos that I could forward you along with a copy of the letter if
>that would help you assist me.
>Any assistance you can be would be appreciated.
>Thank you for your time.
I will ask for the pictures and put them somewhere on my site and post the
URL, but I think it will be indeed of considerable interest for someone
with interest in Korean history, I was thinking about a museum, if anyone
is interested and can shed anymore light on this, I would be obliged. I am
afraid this will be too expensive for me, but I also think that this should
not be in any private collection.
If anyone knows a contact, please contact me off the list.
Henny (Lee Hae Kang)
Feel free to discover Korea with Hendrick Hamel (1653-1666)
http://www.henny-savenije.demon.nl (in English)
Frits Vos Article about Witsen and Eibokken and his first Korean-Dutch
Korea through Western Cartographic eyes
http://www.crosswinds.net/~hennysavenije/ (in English)
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