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Mirror (Inscription)

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China Anonymous, Chinese
Mirror (Inscription), n. d.
Bronze
3 1/16 in. x 3 1/16 in. x 3/16 in. (7.7 cm x 7.7 cm x 0.5 cm)


Object Type: Decorative Arts
Technique: Metalworking
Creation Place: Asia, China
Credit Line: Gift of Miss Helen K. Powell
Accession Number: 0288


Bibliography
Ju-hsi Chou, "Circles of Reflection," exhibition catalog, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, 2002, p.35.

Marks
Label: Powell 29. Label: T'ang Loyang March '47.

Medium
Cast bronze.

Object Description
Small, round, bronze mirror with a dome boss on a circular base, and four fields. The inner field is comprised of an eight arc circle. The central field bears an inscription, and is enclosed on either side by a striated band. The rim is large and heavy. There is a rectangular seal at the bottom, reading "Chiang Jia Tsao" (made by the Chiang family).

This appears to be "riguang" (sunlight) mirror, though the inscription is rather faded. The inscription contains eight characters, divided by two alternate types of spacers. The inscription on the riguang mirror reads:

By the light of the sun,
The world is made bright.

In the Cleveland Museum of Art's "Circles of Reflection" exhibition catalog, it states; "The modest style and, presumably, price enabled it to reach a broad clientele. Archaeologically, this subtype enjoyed a fairly extensive distribution, roaming from the center of the empire all the way to peripheral regions such as the west, northeast, and extreme south. Most sunlight mirrors are quite similar in appearance, regardless of whether they hailed from Xi'an, Luoyang, or Liaoning."*

*p. 35.

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