Mirror. Glossy mottled black and gray patina surface with malachite incrustations in sharply cut low relief. Box.

Historical period(s)
Western Han dynasty, 2nd century BCE
Diam x D: 18.6 x 1 cm (7 5/16 x 3/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Mirror


China, qin, Western Han dynasty (206 BCE - 9 CE)

From at least 1934 to 1935
C. T. Loo, Paris from at least 1934 [1]

From 1935
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company, New York on March 23, 1935 [2]


[1] Olov Jansen, "Le style du Houai et ses affinités; notes à propos de quelques objects de la collection David-Weill," Revue des Arts Asiatiques: Annales du Musée Guimet vol. 8, no. 3 (1934), pp. 146, 180, pl. 57, listed as "Collection C. T. Loo, Paris."

[2] See C. T. Loo's invoice dated March 23, 1935, copy in object file. The invoice was issued by C. T. Loo's New York gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948


Mirror. Glossy mottled black and gray patina surface with malachite incrustations in sharply cut low relief. Box.

Published References
  • Anneliese Bulling. The Decoration of Mirrors of the Han Period: A Chronology. no. 20 Ascona, Switzerland. .
  • Henri Maspero. Legends Mythologiques dans les Chou Jing (Shu Jing). vol. 204 Paris. .
  • William Watson. The Art of Dynastic China. New York, 1981. ill. 288.
  • Sueji Umehara. Kan izen no kokyo no kenkyu [L'Etude sur le Miroir Anterieur a la Dynastie des Han]. Kyoto. vol. 6: pp. 7-8, 27-32, pl. 30, fig. 2.
  • Michael Sullivan. On the Origin of Landscape Representation in Chinese Art. vol. 7 Honolulu. opp. p. 57, fig. 21.
  • Smithsonian Institution. Report of the Secretary, 1935. Washington, 1935-1936. pl. 2.
  • Smithsonian Institution. Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, 1935. Washington, 1935-1936. appendix 3, pl. 2.
  • Shou-Chien Shih. Eremitism in Landscape Paintings by Chien Hsuan (ca. 1235-before 1307). Ann Arbor. fig. 1.
  • Hai wai i chen [Chinese Art in Overseas Collections]. Taipei, 1985. vol. 2: p. 200.
  • Chugoku bijutsu [Chinese Art in Western Collections]. 5 vols., Tokyo, 1972-1973. vol. 4: pl. 81.
  • Bernhard Karlgren. Early Chinese Mirror Inscriptions. vol. 6 Stockholm. p. 26.
  • Jenny F. So. Music in the Age of Confucius. Exh. cat. Washington and Seattle. p. 31, fig. 1.13.
  • Compiled by the staff of the Freer Gallery of Art. A Descriptive and Illustrative Catalogue of Chinese Bronzes: Acquired During the Administration of John Ellerton Lodge. Oriental Studies Series, no. 3 Washington, 1946. p. 37, pl. 68.
  • Michele Pirazzoli-t'Serstevens. The Han Dynasty. New York. p. 73.
  • Ingrid Furniss. Music in Ancient China: An Archaeological and Art Historical Study of Strings, Winds, and Drums During the Eastern Zhou and Han Periods (770 BCE-220 CE). Amherst, New York. p. 86.
  • Bernhard Karlgren. Huai and Han. no. 13 Stockholm. p. 92, pl. 56, fig. 17.
  • Olov Jansen. Le Style du Houai et ses Affinites: Notes a Propos de quelques objects de la collection David-Weill. vol. 8, no. 3 Paris. pp. 146, 180, pl. 57.
  • Anneliese Bulling. The Decoration of Chinese Art from Neolithic Pottery to Modern Architecture. New York. p. 163.
  • William Willetts. Foundations of Chinese Art from Neolithic Pottery to Modern Architecture. New York, 1965. p. 163.
  • Alexander Coburn Soper. Life Motion and the Sense of Space in Early Chinese Representational Art. vol. 30, no. 3 New York. pp. 170-173, fig. 1.
  • Sueji Umehara. Shina kokogaku ronko [Studies in Chinese Archaeology]. Showa 13 Tokyo, 1938-1940. p. 254.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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