May 10, 2022
May 10, 2022

TLV Mirror with Multiple Nipples

TLV Mirror with Multiple Nipples


9–23 CE


Diameter: 16.3 cm (6 7/16 in.); Overall: 1.2 cm (1/2 in.); Rim: 0.6 cm (1/4 in.)

Weight: 756 g (1.67 lbs.)

Gift of Drs. Thomas and Martha Carter in Honor of Sherman E. Lee 1995.295


TLV mirrors of the Han dynasty were named after the motifs resembling the letters T, L, and V. Their meaning relates to cosmology. A concentric band of characters around the central knob reads, Good copper of the current Xin dynasty was mined at Danyang. / Mixed with white tin, the alloy is clear and bright. . . .

Danyang county in Jiangsu province was rich in metal resources. Mirrors mentioning Danyang were found in Zhejiang, Hubei, Henan, Hunan, and Shanxi provinces, which suggests their export beyond Jiangsu. Alternatively, competing mirror makers elsewhere could have used Danyang as an early type of branding.

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