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The Mirror with Design of Marine Beasts and Grapes
Source: Henan Museum Edit: acf Time: 2022.03.17 16:10:05


Period: Tang dynasty (618--907)
Measurements: Diameter 19.9 cm, Weight 1.65 kg
Provenance: Transference upon the governmental notice

Being heavy and thick, and round in shape, the mirror features a flat obverse side, a large form, and exquisite craftsmanship. On the reverse side, six auspicious beasts in the inner region; in the outer region, the beasts, which alternate with birds, flowers, and grapes which are 13 in total, it is rare among its similar examples.

China is one of the earliest countries in the world in terms of casting and using bronze mirrors. As early as in the Qijia culture of more than 4,000 years ago, bronze mirror was made and used, and it thrived in the period of the pre-Qin and Han dynasties, and saw its heyday in the Tang dynasty. The bronze mirrors of the Tang dynasty were not only practical, but also imbued with rich cultural connotations due to their different motifs, thereby it played an important role in social life.

Being the most representative Tang bronze mirrors, such mirrors combined the grape pattern from the Western Regions with the auspicious animal patterns in the traditional Chinese art, and granted it with new implications. In traditional Chinese culture, grapes and pomegranates shared similar implications for their abundant seeds, whereby symbolized "more sons and more blessings". Therefore, the mirrors were culturally auspicious, they derived from the importation and absorption of the foreign elements based on the inheritance of traditional Chinese characteristics, which embodied the inclusive, open and embracing culture and spirit of the Tang dynasty, thus they attested to the new epoch of Chinese culture in the Tang Dynasty.