These Japanese side-dish containers feature a continuous pattern that extends across multiple tiers. This design closely resembles the type of continuous composition found in Japanese folding screens (連幅屛風)  dating as far back as the fourteenth century. Drawing inspiration from these kinds of Japanese and Chinese folding screens and craft objects, nineteenth-century Joseon artists developed their own version of ceramic side-dish containers with continuous patterns.



White Porcelain Two-tier Box with Plum, Bamboo, Chrysanthemum and Butterfly Design in Blue Underglaze

(白磁靑畫梅竹菊蝶文四角二層盒)
Joseon dynasty, (overall) H. 11.9cm, (mouth) D. 9.4cm, (mouth) D. 8.9cm, (bottom) D. 7.1cm, (bottom) D. 6.4cm,

(lid) H. 2.1cm, (lid) D. 9.4cm, (lid) D. 8.9cm, National Museum of Korea (Dongwon 184) ⓒNational Museum of Korea


This two-tier box features paintings of plum blossoms (梅花), bamboo (竹), chrysanthemum flowers (菊花), and butterflies (蝶) on the side and a stylized representation of the character for longevity (壽) on the lid. Additional patterns including a double-square design (回字文) and diagonal pattern appear on the lid and lower tier. The surface glaze is pale blue with a dark cobalt blue underglaze.

The way in which each painting connects with the painting on the subsequent side closely resembles the continuous composition typical of Japanese folding screens and craft objects. This complex pictorial design as well as the high degree of craftsmanship involved in carefully fitting the ceramic components together, make this an extremely rare and precious example of Joseon artistry. 

Korean Side-Dish Boxes Consisting of a Single Pattern
Short Cut

The Design of Square Side Dish Box and Cover (Picnic Box, 方形盒)


Most of the Side-dish boxes produced in Joseon are generally composed of a single pattern on each floor, but there is also a pro-choice box that is designed to connect to a single screen. It is assumed that these consecutive patterns of approval were influenced by Japan.


Japanese Side-dish Boxes

These Japanese side-dish containers feature a continuous pattern that extends across multiple tiers. This design closely resembles the type of continuous composition found in Japanese folding screens (連幅屛風) dating as far back as the fourteenth century. Drawing inspiration from these kinds of Japanese and Chinese folding screens and craft objects, nineteenth-century Joseon artists developed their own version of ceramic side-dish containers with continuous patterns.

White Porcelain Two-tier Box with Plum, Bamboo, Chrysanthemum and Butterfly Design in Blue Underglaze (白磁靑畫梅竹菊蝶文四角二層盒)

Joseon dynasty, (overall) H. 11.9cm, (mouth) D. 9.4cm, (mouth) D. 8.9cm, (bottom) D. 7.1cm, (bottom) D. 6.4cm,

(lid) H. 2.1cm, (lid) D. 9.4cm, (lid) D. 8.9cm, National Museum of Korea (Dongwon 184) ⓒNational Museum of Korea


This two-tier box features paintings of plum blossoms  (梅花), bamboo (竹), chrysanthemum flowers (菊花), and butterflies (蝶) on the side and a stylized representation of the character for longevity (壽) on the lid. Additional patterns including a double-square design(回字文) and diagonal pattern appear on the lid and lower tier. The surface glaze is pale blue with a dark cobalt blue underglaze.

The way in which each painting connects with the painting on the subsequent side closely resembles the continuous composition typical of Japanese folding screens and craft objects. This complex pictorial design as well as the high degree of craftsmanship involved in carefully fitting the ceramic components together, make this an extremely rare and precious example of Joseon artistry. 

Korean Side-Dish Boxes
Consisting of a Single Pattern
Short Cut