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    Sale 2268

    Fine Chinese Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    18 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 240

    A RARE GOLD, SILVER AND LACQUER-DECORATED BRONZE OCTALOBED MIRROR

    TANG DYNASTY, 8TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A RARE GOLD, SILVER AND LACQUER-DECORATED BRONZE OCTALOBED MIRROR
    TANG DYNASTY, 8TH CENTURY
    The back covered in black lacquer decorated in gold foil and silver sheet with a flower motif on the top of the central pierced knob which rises from a flower head, each petal alternately supporting a lotus flower or bud, within a chain border, the outer field inlaid in finely incised and stippled silver sheet with lotus plants and ducks in flight, their necks tied with a ribbon, the lotus stems trailing from their beaks, the interspersed butterflies and clouds executed in gold foil, the plain reverse with heavy green and earth encrustation
    8 5/8 in. (22 cm.) across, lacquer octagonal box


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    Mirrors of this type, with their rich combination of gold and silver decoration on a lacquer ground set into the back of the bronze mirror, reflect the splendor and sumptuous taste of the Tang court. Mirrors similar to the present example found their way to Japan at an early date, such as the similarly decorated eight-lobed mirror in the Shoso-in, illustrated by Ryochi Hayashi, The Silk Road and the Shoso-in, New York/Tokyo, 1975, p. 129, fig. 142.
    The octagonal lacquer box that accompanies this mirror is painted in gold and silver with a design of a pair of ducks standing amidst peonies and copied directly from a silver and gold-decorated leather-covered box in the southern repository of the Shoso-in, illustrated by J. Rawson, "The Ornament on Chinese Silver of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907)," British Museum Occasional Paper No. 40, 1982, p. 58, no. 63.

    Provenance

    Sammy Y. Lee & Wangs Co., Ltd., Hong Kong, 1973.


    Literature

    Lee Yu-kuan, Oriental Lacquer Art, New York/Tokyo, 1972, pp. 72-3.