Warring States Period, 480-220 BCE
Diameter: 8.5 inches (21.59 cm)
Mirrors with the shan character as the main motif are one of the representative types from the Warring States period. On this particular mirror, the shan shapes are represented in relief against a finely feathered pattern background that seems to consist of abstract taotie heads with intervening nipple granules. It is believed that the Warring States shan design was a precursor to the T-shape found on TLV mirrors of later Han period mirrors.
This mirror is superbly cast and well polished on the reflective side. As usual, there are areas of patina on both sides, but the overall condition is good. In our opinion, this mirror is a superb example of Warring States period design and workmanship.
Reference Number 2944
Ex Collection Yung Po Hin, Hong Kong
Other mirrors of similar design have survived. A similar mirror excavated in Changsha, Hunan Province is illustrated in Karlgren, “Some Pre-Han Mirrors”, Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Number 35, 1963, Plate 7b.
Another Warring States mirror of similar design formerly in the collection of John A. Pope was sold at Sotheby’s on November 20, 1973, Lot 75.
Another superb example from the collection of Richard C. Bull was sold at Christie’s New York on December 6, 1988, Lot 4.
A related example of fine workmanship dated Eastern Zhou, 4th to 3rd centuries, is published in Ancient Chinese and Ordos Bronzes. Oriental Ceramic Society, Hong Kong, 1990. Page 232, number 152.
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