A bronze mirror

Eastern Han dynasty (AD 25 – 220)

The mirror is of circular form and set in the centre with a large domed suspension loop. The broad raised rim is decorated with a band of stylized animals encircling a narrow sawtooth border. The central knop is surrounded by a circle enclosing nine nipples, all encircled by a wide band of animals and birds amongst scrolls and divided by seven further nipples. The back side of the mirror is of shiny silver colour with large areas of reddish-brown cuprite patination which also covers the main part of the specular side. There are small areas of malachite patination.

18.8 cm diameter



An American private collection

A mirror of similar type is illustrated in Ancient Bronze Mirrors in the National Museum of History, Taipei, 1996, pp. 96-97. Another comparable mirror, but with inscription, from the Robert H. Elsworth Collection was sold at Christie’s New York, 22 March 2012, lot 1425.

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