The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 2, 2024



25–220 CE
Location: not on view


Two of the same animals of the Four Directions seen in the "TLV" mirror are cast in high relief and twisted in confrontation: the Dragon of the East with long snout, pointed horn, and scaly backbone meets the Tiger of the West with feline head and striped neck. An amphibious creature of unknown symbolism swims between their tails. The circle between their heads duplicates the form of a copper coin, minted during the Han dynasty, that was strung through its square perforation.

The encircling inscription reads: "Mr. Wang has made this mirror; it is true and without blemish. Its decoration is engraved with skilled craftsmanship. May your longevity be like metal and stone; may you have joy without end."
  • ?-1915
    Dr. J. C. [John Calvin] Ferguson 福開森 [1866-1945], Newton, MA, sold to the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust for gift to the Cleveland Museum of Art
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Mirrors: Art and Symbol. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (July 3-November 18, 1984).
  • {{cite web|title=Mirror|url=false|author=|year=25–220 CE|access-date=02 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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