Gilt Gold on Silvered Bronze Mirror with Dragon


Gilt Gold on Silvered Bronze Mirror with Dragon
Tang Dynasty
Diameter: 11.5 inches (29 cm)


This robust example of mercury gilt gold on bronze shows a powerful rendition of a flying dragon. The beast floats through the air surrounded by stylized clouds.

There is strong evidence of the originality of the piece through pitting of the original gold wash which is the result of prolonged burial. There is a faint blackish film on the floor of the surface which suggests burial and exposure to elements. The alteration consists of varying depth and coloration which is the result of moisture.

The bold casting quality of the image suggests a southern Chinese origin. There is a related example in the Avery Brundage Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, which is unpublished. It is quite unusual to encounter a finely preserved example of gilt-mercury wash of the period. In our opinion, this is an outstanding mirror of the glorious Tang Dynasty.


Reference number: 2747



Ex Collection: C.T. Loo, Paris.

Ex Collection: Alan & Simone Hartman, New York


To inquire about this work of art, contact us at 415.299.1600 or email at