Jan 27, 2004

Mirror with Handle, Decorated with "Double Happiness" and Five Bats

Mirror with Handle, Decorated with "Double Happiness" and Five Bats


c. 1800

workshop of Tang Wanheng 湯萬亨

(Chinese, active c. 1800)


Diameter: 16.5 cm (6 1/2 in.); Overall: 0.6 cm (1/4 in.); Rim: 0.6 cm (1/4 in.)

Weight: 310.5 g (10.95 oz.)

Gift of Drs. Thomas and Martha Carter in Honor of Sherman E. Lee 1995.401


Did you know?

The five–bat design signals a wish for good fortune.


This mirror bears a large character of xi 囍 ("double happiness," as in a marriage) as its principal decoration. Below that, a smaller inscription in a rectangular frame establishes the mirror maker's identity. Tang Wanheng 湯萬亨 must have enjoyed a lucrative trade and sufficient renown to warrant the inclusion of his name on his products. It has been suggested that these mirrors were not so much made for reflective purposes as for ritualistic use during the marriage ceremony, hence the "double happiness" as its main decoration.

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