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Mirror (Lion and Grapevine)

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China Anonymous, Chinese
Mirror (Lion and Grapevine), 7th c.
Bronze
5 3/16 in. x 5 3/16 in. x 7/16 in. (13.2 cm x 13.2 cm x 1.1 cm)


Object Type: Decorative Arts
Technique: Metalworking
Creation Place: Asia, China
Credit Line: Gift of Miss Helen K. Powell
Accession Number: 0286


Bibliography
Ju-hsi Chou, "Circles of Reflection," exhibition catalog, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, 2002, p.64-66.

Marks
Sticker: 13. Tag: T'ang Loyang March '47.

Medium
Cast bronze, in high relief.

Object Description
Round bronze mirror with a knob in the form of a large crouching beast, and two fields of decoration. The inner field contains four lions and two birds, all viewed aerially. An extensive vine motif runs throughout extending from a double dividing rim. The outer field depicts four birds and four running creatures in pairs. They are also viewed aerially, and from the side. The outer field has an extensive vine motif, which runs through the rim to the edge.

"The animal-and-grape design is a major typology. Grapes were introduced into China as early as the Han dynasty and soon appeared in textiles as a decorative motif. During the Tang period interest in this imported fruit deepened considerably and grape wine gained enormous popularity in the court and among the gentry. This interest made its way into mirror design, with the typology of animal-and-grape as its most eloquent testimonial. This mirror type itself did not last long, yet at its peak, its vitality was irrepressible and its wealth of details unprecedented." (Ju-hsi Chou 2002, 64).

Related Objects
This mirror is identical to 79.10.6, but is in worse condition.

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