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Hwang, J., 2021. Conservation treatment and characteristics of the belt with rhinoceros-horn ornaments at the National Hangeul Museum. Conservation Science in Museum 25: 51-62

Location: Museums
Subject: History
Species: Asian Rhino Species

Original text on this topic:
The Belt with Rhinoceros-Horn Ornaments(known as a seodae in Korean) from the family of Princess Deokon's descendants housed in the National Hangeul Museum underwent emergency treatment for a special exhibition in 2019 upon the request of the National Hangeul Museum. Priority was given to the restoration of the original form of the severely damaged belt and the repair of its detached horn ornaments. Prior to the conservation treatment, researchers conducted a theoretical study of the belt with rhinoceros-horn adornments to learn the names of its structural components and the changes in form that the type experienced by period, thereby establishing a plan for conservation treatment and setting a direction. Among the belts worn by officials from the Joseon dynasty, rhinoceros-horn ornaments were attached to those of officials of the first rank and were considered the most precious behind the king's belt with its jade ornaments. The rhinoceros horn adorning the belt is classified into three categories according to quality. This belt has horn adornments of the highest quality, falling under the "grape design" category with dark brown dots concentrated in the center. The belt has a rectangular shape and lacks a buckle, reflecting a popular form from the nineteenth century. The structure of the belt was identified over the process of conservation treatment, offering information about its method of production. In addition, comparison of the relic with belts with rhinoceros-horn ornaments depicted in Joseon-period portraits of officials allowed the identification of changes in formal features and the detailed structures of belts with rhinoceros-horn ornaments by period. It confirmed that the belt subject to conservation treatment shows the features of belts with rhinoceros-horn ornaments produced in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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