Inlays for a Mirror or Box

c. 900–1000
Overall: 4.7 x 8.4 cm (1 7/8 x 3 5/16 in.); Irregular: 5.3 x 8.4 cm (2 1/16 x 3 5/16 in.); Part 1: 4.6 x 8.4 cm (1 13/16 x 3 5/16 in.); Part 2: 5.2 x 7.8 cm (2 1/16 x 3 1/16 in.); Part 3: 5.2 x 5.6 cm (2 1/16 x 2 3/16 in.); Part 4: 4.2 x 6.1 cm (1 5/8 x 2 3/8 in.); Part 5: 4.6 x 5.2 cm (1 13/16 x 2 1/16 in.)
Location: not on view
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share


The p'ing-t'o technique of inlaying gold and silver foil on lacquer produced luxurious articles of elegance and fragility. These stray silver inlays were originally mounted on a mirror back or a cosmetic box whose lacquered surface has disintegrated. They combine auspicious symbols of Indian and Chinese origin: human-headed birds whose melodies filled the Buddhist paradise, and bird-riding deities who inhabited the skies of Taoist mythology. Like these imaginary beings, the lions were probably paired in a radial design; at least one has been lost.
Inlays for a Mirror or Box

Inlays for a Mirror or Box

c. 900–1000

China, Tang dynasty (618-907) - Song dynasty (960-1279)

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.