Mirror; back decorated with birds and scrolling vines | The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
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Mirror; back decorated with birds and scrolling vines

Mirror; back decorated with birds and scrolling vines

Mirror; back decorated with birds and scrolling vines

Bronze, inlaid with mother-of-pearl in lacquer

Diam: 14 cm

Gift of Frederick M. Mayer, New York, through America-Israel Cultural Foundation

Accession number:

B62.01.1092

Arts/Asian Art

Bronze mirrors have been found in tombs dating back as far as 3,500 years ago. The back of the mirror lent itself to decoration - whether designs featuring dragons, mythological figures, and cosmological symbols, or sumptuous inlay in mother-of-pearl, gold, and silver. The knob at the center had a silk tassel that was used to hold the mirror. Over time the bronze darkened, but when they were new, these mirrors shone like gold.

From the Israel Museum publications:

The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by:
The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir