About this artwork
The mirror in ancient China, usually held by hand with a cord, was a thin bronze disk with one face polished to a reflective sheen. The backs of mirrors were cast with elegant and dynamic designs that often reflect then-contemporary textile designs. The ground of interlocking T’s on this mirror is known from textile finds as well as from impressions of deteriorated fabrics preserved in the surface corrosion of bronzes. Superimposed on, and contrasting with, this rectangular ground are flowing dragon- and bird-headed figures reminiscent of those seen in embroidered designs. The interplay of lines and curves is characteristic of the decorative art of the third and second centuries B.C.
- Mirror with Dragon Arabesques
- 299 BCE–100 BCE
- Diam. 20.8 cm (8 3/8 in.); Thickness: 0.2 cm (3/16 in.)
- Samuel M. Nickerson Fund