A bronze bell-shaped mirror

Song dynasty (960-1279) 

The mirror is set with a rectangular aperture on top for suspension and the reverse side is cast with a loop suspending a separate ring cast with irregular recesses. The mirror is inscribed in relief with a couplet gu zhong yu gong sheng wen tian wai, ‘the drum and the bell are in the palace, their sound can be heard outside heaven’, flanking a central square seal.

19.5 cm long




Sotheby’s London, 7 December 1993

Formerly in the collection of Robert Suermont



A similar bronze mirror of this shape is illustrated in the Lee Kong Chian Art Museum, catalogue no. 38. A further similar example is illustrated in Zhongguo Tong Jing, December 2013, Beijing, no. 61.

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