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Mirror

Object Number:48-2-333
Current Location: Collections Storage
Culture:Chinese
Provenience: China
Period: Western Han Dynasty
Early Date: -200
Late Date: 1
Section:Asian
Materials:Bronze
Technique:Cast
Inscription Language:Chinese Script
Credit Line:Gift of Elise Biddle (Mrs. Harald) Paumgarten, 1948, 1948
Other Number:L-2-339 - Old Loan Number

Description

Cast bronze mirror. The back of the mirror is very simply decorated with concentric bands of ornament, and an eight-pointed sun-burst in the center around the perforated knob. One of the concentric bands bears the rhyming couplet 見日之光,天下大明: "Seeing the brightness of the sun, all under heaven are enlightened." This inscription alludes to the reflective properties of the mirror, and perhaps also to the brilliance of the reigning dynasty. Small, relatively plain mirrors of this type, with the same or similar inscriptions, were produced in very great quantities during the period of the Western Han Dynasty.

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