Foliated mirror with felines and birds


Historical period(s)
Middle Tang dynasty, 8th century
Diam x D: 19.3 x 1.4 cm (7 5/8 x 9/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Mirror


bird, casting, cat, China, Tang dynasty (618 - 907), WWII-era provenance

From at least 1929
Mrs. Christian R. Holmes (1871-1941), New York and "The Chimneys," Sands Point, Port Washington, Long Island, from at least 1929 [1]

From at least 1944
Tonying and Company, New York, from at least February 1944 [2]

From 1944
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Tonying and Company on February 7, 1944 [3]


[1] See Yamanaka & Company, To-So Seikwa: Select relics of the Tang and Sung Dynasties from the Collections in Europe and America (Osaka, 1929), vol. 2, pl. 39.

[2] See Tonying & Company’s invoice, dated February 7, 1944, in which the mirror figures under no. B. 33: “Bronze Polyfoliate Mirror, designs of floral scrolls, flying Phoenixes, etc. / Tang.” copy in object file. The acquisition was approved by C. G. Abbot, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, on February 4, 1944, see “List of Objects Contemplated for Purchase by the Freer Gallery of Art,” copy in object file.

[3] See invoice cited in note 2. See also A. G. Wenley’s letter to C. F. Yau, Tonying & Company, dated February 5, 1944, in which Wenley confirms the purchase of the mirror along with seven other mirrors from the Holmes collection (see records for F1944.3, F1944.5-F1944.10).

Previous Owner(s)

Tonying and Company
Mrs. Christian R. Holmes 1871 - 1941

Published References
  • Miura Hidenosuke. To-so seikwa (Selected Relics of T'ang and Sung Dynasties from Collections in Europe and America). Osaka, 1928-1929. pl. 29.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum