As head of the Arts and Monument Division in Japan, Lee had the unique opportunity to examine Japanese cultural monuments, including the rarely seen art treasures preserved in the Shoso-in repository in Nara. This experience informed his establishment of the standards of quality required for art acquisition.
This exquisite Chinese mirror-a rare surviving specimen of its type-was acquired from Japan, where there has been a long tradition of collecting Chinese art. Such mirrors were used as imperial gifts in the Tang court and imported as exotic, luxury items in Nara Japan. A comparable example is now kept in the Shoso-in repository.
CMA 1984: Mirrors: Art and Symbol, 3 July-18 November, 1984
Cleveland, Ohio: The Cleveland Museum of Art; September 17-November 26, 2000. "Circles of Reflection: The Carter Collection of Chinese Bronze Mirrors", fig. 1, p. 1.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (10/5/2004 - 1/23/2005): "China: Dawn of a Golden Age, 200-75 AD," cat. 217, p. 322
The Cleveland Museum of Art (06/28/2009 - 08/30/2009); "Streams and Mountains Without End: Asian Art and the Legacy of Sherman E. Lee at the Cleveland Museum of Art"