Bell-shaped Mirror

Bell-shaped Mirror

청동 종모양 거울 (銅製鐘形鏡)

918–1392

Bronze

Overall: 15.6 x 9.6 x 0.4 cm (6 1/8 x 3 3/4 x 3/16 in.)

Gift of D. Z. Norton 1917.679

Location

Fun Fact

Due to its origin as an important tool in religion and politics, mirrors are often mentioned in many Korean proverbs that warn certain behaviors.

Description

From ancient times, a mirror assumed various roles; a ritualistic tool, a diplomatic gift, and a luxury commodity. During the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392), which saw the great advancement of metallurgy, the royal court was the center of distributing sophisticated bronze artifacts. According to historical records, on the 7th day of the Lunar New Year, the king bestowed a bronze mirror inscribed with auspicious symbols upon each court official as part of a ceremony to celebrate the Day of Humans. This bronze mirror features a round concave surface that serves as the main decoration. Such concave surface can be traced back to the ancient time when a concave mirror was used to start a fire from sunlight during the daytime.

See also
Collection: 
Korean Art
Department: 
Korean Art
Type of artwork: 
Metalwork
Medium: 
Bronze
Credit line: 
Gift of D. Z. Norton

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