East Asia, China, Han Dynasty, ca. 206 BCE to 220 CE. A circular bronze mirror, cast in low relief, with a perforated knob or boss through which a cord would have been threaded to make it easier to hold or carry, encircled by repeated motifs of geometric designs interspersed with mythical animals. Outer edge is enhanced with continuous zig-zag design. Size: 5.75" W (14.6 cm)
Mirrors in ancient China served both practical and spiritual purposes. Bronze mirrors were also luxury goods that would have been expensive to produce and therefore to buy. When placed in a tomb upon the chest of the deceased, as they often were, they were meant to protect the dead from evil spirits, who were frightened of being seen in reflection. In a similarly symbolic move, women carried "marriage mirrors" on their laps during their wedding procession; these were later hung over the marriage bed to repel evil spirits.
Provenance: ex-Wong collection, Lotus Trading, acquired around 1974
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.
We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.