The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 27, 2017

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

bronze with silver and gold inlaid lacquer, Diameter: w. 19.2 cm (7 1/2 in). Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1973.74

This extremely rare pingtuo mirror is coated with a lacquer base inlaid with silver and gold. The decorative patterns, especially the floral arabesques and the phoenixes and birds holding branches in their mouths, have a pronounced Persian and Central Asian flavor. Luxury items like this had been used by the Tang emperor as an imperial gift. A similar example from the Japanese imperial collection of Emperor Shomu was donated by Empress Komyo to the Shoso-in repository of the Todai-ji Temple, Nara, in 756.

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"

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