Sep 30, 2020
Jan 4, 2005
Sep 30, 2020

TLV Mirror with Four Spirits and Companions

TLV Mirror with Four Spirits and Companions

四神博局式青铜鏡

AD 9-100

China, Han dynasty

(202 BC-AD 220)

Bronze

Diameter: 19 cm (7 1/2 in.); Overall: 1.2 cm (1/2 in.); Rim: 0.7 cm (1/4 in.)

Weight: 1.099 kg (2.42 lbs.)

Gift of Drs. Thomas and Martha Carter in Honor of Sherman E. Lee 1995.301

Location

Description

The back of this mirror shows a diagram of the universe. The concentric rings and swirling cloud band border represent heaven, while the square field around the knob designates the earth. The four directional spirits in the form of animals occupy the space between heaven and earth and are cast in fine lines between the band of swirling clouds and outside the square: the tiger guarding the west, the dragon protecting the east, the red bird representing the south, and the snake-entwined turtle guarding the north.

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