National Museum of Korea, 137, Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Yongsan-gu Seoul
King Sejo of Joseon Period
National Museum of Korea
This bronze bell, cast in 1468 (the 14th year of the reign of King Sejo of the Joseon Dynasty), was used to ring out the old year on New Year's Eve at Bosingak Pavilion in Seoul until 1985.
It used to be located at Jeongneungsa Temple near Jeongneung Royal Tomb (Tomb of Queen Sindeok, 1356-1398), but was moved to Wongaksa Temple, and then to a bell tower after the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592.
Since 1895 (the 32nd year of the reign of King Gojong), when a signboard bearing the name ‘Bosingak Pavilion’ was put up in front of the bell tower, the bell has been called the 'Bosingak Bronze Bell'.
The bell is now kept in the grounds of the National Museum of Korea.
This bell, which is 3.18m in height and 2.28 m in diameter and weighs 19.66 tons, exhibits the typical style of the early Joseon Dynasty.
The top of the bell lacks the characteristic metal tube that helps it to emit sound when struck, but is fitted with two sculpted dragons that function as a hook with which to suspend the bell.
This bell forms a graceful flowing curve from the shoulder, and a straight line from the middle to the base, with three bands around the trunk and two bands around the base, and bears a long inscription stating its origin.
This bell is considered one of the most valuable heritages whose actual date of production is known, despite having been slightly damaged - in terms of its shape and sound quality - by two fires.