Silvered Bronze Mirror
Western Han Period (2nd – 1st Century B.C.)
Diameter: 4 1/2 inches 9 (11.5 cm.)
This diminuitive, exquisitely cast silvered bronze mirror shows arcs which form a high relief frame. A raised miniature mountain forms the central boss. Raised points, perfectly cast, form mountains with low relief swirling clouds from the central panel. This mountain and cloud theme is eminently important during the Western Han Period.
The reverse side is well silvered and much of the mirror finish remains. The overall condition of this mirror is fine as is the quality of workmanship. In our opinion, the subject matter, material, and workmanship suggest a Han period date for this work of art.
Reference Number: 2529
Ex Collection Wui Po Kok, Hong Kong
For another example of the cloud and mountain theme used during the Western Han period, see Ancient Chinese and Ordos Bronzes by Jessica Rawson and Emma Bunker. The Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong. 1990. Plate 131, page 214.
A collection of significant bronze mirrors is illustrated in the Catalogue of Special Exhibition of Bronze Mirrors in the National Palace Museum. Chu Jen-hsing, trans. Kenneth Ganza and Cary Y. Liu. Taipei: National Palace Museum, 1986. Pages 187-211.
See further illustrations of bronze mirrors in Ancient Chinese Bronze Art. W. Thomas Chase. New York: China Institute, 1991.
See the discussion of Han period mirrors in Ancient Chinese Bronze Mirrors, Robert Swallow and Fred Bleicher, Ann Arbor: Ars Ceramica, Ltd., 1977. Pages 44-48.
For a comprehensive discussion of the imagery and its significance in Han art, see Art & Political Expression in Early China, Martin J. Powers. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991.
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