Bronze implements began to be used on the Korean Peninsula around the 10th century BCE. With the introduction of iron culture from China around the 3rd century BCE, iron weapons and farming tools were locally manufactured.
The advancement of smelting and smithing technologies allowed for a variety of metals and alloys to be refined and employed, including gold, silver, copper, iron, and tin. The unique properties of each metal were exploited to fabricate a diverse array of tools and artifacts, including weaponry, armor, harnesses, bells, crowns, and other everyday items and status symbols. As Buddhism flourished during the Three Kingdoms period, Buddhist handicrafts fully blossomed. While Buddhist artifacts were often elaborate and exquisite, everyday articles tended to be more solid and practical, displaying an adept combination of production expertise and refined aestheticism.
The Metal Crafts Gallery showcases the magnificent beauty and superior production technology of Korean metal craft and sculpture. The exhibition is divided into two sections—Buddhist crafts and practical handicrafts—both of which are arranged to show how metal crafts have changed over time.