The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of July 2, 2016

Mirror with Phoenixes, Birds, Butterflies, and Floral Sprays, 700s

bronze with silver and gold inlaid lacquer, Diameter: w. 19.20 cm (7 1/2 inches). Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1973.74

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"

Detail Views