Mirror with the animals of the four directions

citation

Historical period(s)
Han dynasty, 1st-2nd century
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
Diam x D: 14.3 x 1 cm (5 5/8 x 3/8 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1937.30
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Mirror
Type

Mirror

Keywords
animal, bird, casting, China, dragon, Han dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE), snake, the four directions, tiger, tortoise, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1937
J.W.A. Kleykamp, New York. [1]

From 1937
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from J.W.A. Kleykamp, New York. [2]

Notes:

[1] Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

J.W.A. Kleykamp

Label

The significance of this "TLV" mirror as a diagram of the universe is enhanced by the presence of the animals of the four directions: the white tiger of the west, the blue dragon of the east, the vermilion bird of the south, and the dark warrior (tortoise and snake) of the north. The four animal deities appear between the T, L, and V elements in the main decorative zone.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum