East Asia, China, Tang Dynasty, ca. 618 to 907 CE. A spectacular silvered bronze mirror of circular form with a zoomorphic suspension loop on the front. The rear was once polished to a smooth reflective surface, some of which remains today. The front of the mirror is decorated with six mythical lion-like beasts inside two bands of grapevine patterns. The rim is lifted, forming a concave surface. The lion-and-grapevine motif was popular in Tang China, meant to symbolize the harmony of the universe and the balance of the forces of nature. The grapevine theme seems to have come from as far away as the Sassanian Empire, brought from Persia along the Silk Road. Size: 5.45" W (13.8 cm)
A similar item sold at Christie's in 2013 for $6000: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/a-bronze-lion-and-grapevine-mirror-tang-5661875-details.aspx
Provenance: private Eason Eige Collection, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
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