May 9, 2022
Jan 22, 2004
May 10, 2022

Mirror with Deities and Kings

Mirror with Deities and Kings


100s CE


Diameter: 19.5 cm (7 11/16 in.); Overall: 1.9 cm (3/4 in.); Rim: 1 cm (3/8 in.)

Weight: 847 g (1.87 lbs.)

Gift of Drs. Thomas and Martha Carter in Honor of Sherman E. Lee 1995.331


Decorated with historic figures from the former states of Wu and Yue, this mirror illustrates the rivalry between the states of Wu (around the Lake Tai basin) and Yue (around Hangzhou Bay) that eventually resulted in the defeat of Wu in 473 BCE. Its downfall became a story retold during the Han dynasty on mirrors from the Shaoxing era.

During the relatively peaceful Han dynasty, the number of bronze mirrors used in burials and as gifts increased, as less metal was used for weaponry. Previously known for sword making and having rich metal resources, places like Shaoxing in Zhejiang province became centers of mirror production.

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