Lot 709. Two bronze circular mirrors, China, Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). Both: 5 ½ in. (14 cm.) diameter; 500 g and 562 g. Estimate $6,000 - $8,000. Price Realized $4,375. © Christie's Image Ltd 2015
One a 'TLV' mirror, the central knob rising from a quatrefoil within a square, surrounded by eight nipples amidst birds, a tiger and rat, as well as 'TLV' motifs, all below a band of scroll on the rim, with reddish oxidation; the other mirror with a central knob surrounded by seven animals and two immortals within a narrow inscription border and other decorative borders below further animals, immortals and birds on the rim, with blackish-grey patina, box.
Provenance: The Collection of Robert H. Ellsworth, New York, acquired in Hong Kong, 1990.
Note: The decoration on this 'TLV’ mirror and others like it is now believed to be derived from the layout of Qin and Han dynasty liubo game boards. A similar mirror is illustrated in Ancient Bronze Mirrors in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, 2005, pp. 158-9, no. 42, where the knob can be seen to rise from a similar quatrefoil. See, also, the 'TLV’ mirror from the collection of the Springfield Museums, Massachusetts, sold at Christie’s New York, 21-22 March 2013, lot 1139.
Christie's. THE COLLECTION OF ROBERT HATFIELD ELLSWORTH PART IV - CHINESE WORKS OF ART: METALWORK, SCULPTURE AND EARLY CERAMICS, 20 March 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza.