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Mirror with 'Shan' (Mountain) Pattern

Mirror with 'Shan' (Mountain) Pattern

3rd century B.C.

Bronze

Diameter: 18 cm (7 1/16 in.)

Edward L. Whittemore Fund 1972.34

Description

Chinese mirror-casting achieved new elegance and precision with the technical development of stamped clay molds over which molten bronze was poured. A small rectangular unit of design was repeatedly stamped to created this background of curls and granulation, which resembles feather-covered textiles known from early tomb finds. The dominant pattern of slanting "T," pressed down upon the mold after the overall background stamps, corresponds to the modern Chinese character for shan (mountain). Whether the pattern was symbolic or decorative during the Chou Dynasty is unknown. The side of manufacture is probably south China, since many mirrors of this type have been excavated from tombs in that area.

See also
Department: 
Chinese Art
Type of artwork: 
Metalwork
Medium: 
Bronze

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