Octafoil-shaped Mirror Featuring Ci Fei, the Dragon Slayer

Octafoil-shaped Mirror Featuring Ci Fei, the Dragon Slayer

황비창천경 (惶丕昌天鏡)

900s-1300s

Bronze

Diameter: 17.2 cm (6 3/4 in.); Overall: 1.1 cm (7/16 in.); Rim: 0.5 cm (3/16 in.)

Gift of Drs. Thomas and Martha Carter in Honor of Sherman E. Lee 1995.376

Location

Fun Fact

The mirror is currently thought to be a Chinese work dating to the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234). Recently published excavation reports, however, reveal that this particular type was exclusively unearthed from Korean tombs of the Goryeo period.

Description

The mythical hero Ci Fei and his victory during his travel through the Yangzi River is depicted on this eight-lobbed mirror. He raises his sword in order to attack sea monsters. On the top, a large inscription in seal script reads “Great and Resplendent is the Heaven.” The mirror is currently thought to be a Chinese work dating to the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234). Recently published excavation reports, however, reveal that this particular type was exclusively unearthed from Korean tombs of the Goryeo period. Some Korean scholars speculate that this Chinese epic was appropriated to celebrate the Goryeo ruling house’s heroic ancestry and this type of mirror was widely distributed as a token of power among Goryeo elite class members.

See also

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