- Place of origin:
- Materials and Techniques:
- Credit Line:
Given by Miss Christobel Hardcastle
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Hand-mirrors with handles were used in ancient China and mentioned in historical texts, but they are less frequent than other types intended to be mounted on stands and placed on dressing tables.
The scene depicted on the back of this example combines Daoist mythological elements symbolising immortality and good fortune. The two figures, holding branches of coral and lingzhi, or fungus of immortality, are celestial immortal creatures living in the heavens; the single-horned animal depicted below them is a deer, symbol of longevity and often represented with the fungus of immortality in its mouth.
Bronze mirror with circular shape, thick raised edge, pierced central boss and handle, decorated in the centre with two heavenly creatures wearing floating garments and holding branches of magic fungus and coral, and a single-horned animal seated on an island in the waves and gazing at a crescent moon; the clouds in the sky are ruyi-shaped. The handle has a thick raised edge and is decorated within the edge with four flutings.
Place of Origin
Materials and Techniques
Length: 16.2 cm, Diameter: 8.7 cm of mirror
Bronze mirror with handle decorated with auspicious scene, China, 12th-14th century
Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)
Kerr, Rose (ed.). Later Chinese bronzes. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1989, pp. 102-103, fig. 88.
Labels and date
1150-1350, Song-Yuan dynasties
The reflecting surface was once highly polished. On the back are two fairies and a magic creature Xiniu gazing up at the moon in clouds. [June 1991]
Clouds; Deer; Waves; Fungus; Immortals