Jan 12, 2004

Mirror Stand in the Shape of a Djeiran

Mirror Stand in the Shape of a Djeiran

mid 1600s-early 1900s


Overall: 10.6 x 21.2 cm (4 3/16 x 8 3/8 in.)

Weight: 1.162 kg (2.56 lbs.)

Gift of Drs. Thomas and Martha Carter in Honor of Sherman E. Lee 1995.385



This mirror stand is the in shape of a recumbent djeiran, or Central Asian antelope. Commonly appearing on Sogdian silver from the 600s onward, the djeiran motif migrated via the trade routes to northern China. There, during the Jin and Yuan (1279–1368) dynasties, it was very popular and always depicted with the moon supported by clouds. Chinese writers often identify the djeiran as the mythical rhinoceros (xi'niu) that is said to gaze at the moon, or as the cow of Wu "panting upon seeing the moon." When the stand originally held a mirror, the animal would appear to be looking at the moon.

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