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Mirror with Dragon Arabesques

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.


Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period or early Western Han dynasty, 3rd/2nd century B.C.


probably from Hunan province

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. Tight spirals and triangles that form the ground pattern of this mirror are distinctive to south-central and southern China. These fanciful configurations seem to have been inspired by painted lacquers and embroidered and woven textiles distinctive to that area, which was occupied by the Kingdom of Chu.


On View, Gallery 132


Arts of Asia


Mirror with Dragon Arabesques


China (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

299 BCE–100 BCE




Diam.: 16 cm (6 5/16 in.); Thickness: D.: 0.5 cm (3/8 in.)

Credit Line

Samuel M. Nickerson Endowment

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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