Diameter: 14.5 cm (5 11/16 in.)
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1926.249
The two leopard-like creatures stalking each other around the knob of this mirror display a naturalistic animal style that emerged with the Sui and Tang unification of China. Their contrained energy contrasts markedly with the reserved image of a young woman described in the encircling poetic inscription: The maiden's chamber---bright and clear Her precious mirror---round It has doubled both her eyes As she danced with the lonely phoenix. Its light flows over her powdered face, painted brow Diffusing radiance upon her silken gauze While with infinite delicacy She demurely glances at herself. Unlike the tightly integrated Han mirrors, examples of the Sui and Tang are typically inscribed with romantic verses that bear no relation to their accompanying designs.
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