Mirror with Deities, Chariot, and the White Tiger

Mirror with Deities, Chariot, and the White Tiger


AD 100-200


Diameter: 18.3 cm (7 3/16 in.); Overall: 1.7 cm (11/16 in.); Rim: 0.9 cm (3/8 in.)

Gift of Drs. Thomas and Martha Carter in Honor of Sherman E. Lee 1995.332

Fun Fact

The meaning of the complex imagery on this mirror's back is not fully understood.


Depicted on the mirror back are two Daoist deities: the King Father of the East (Dongwanggong) and the Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu). Completing the design are the White Tiger of the west (one the Four Spirits representing the four cardinal directions, including the Green Dragon of the east, the Red Bird of the south, and the Dark Warrior of the north) and a chariot drawn by three horses. The reason for the redundancy of two symbolic images relating to the west is not known.

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