A bronze circular 'TLV' mirror with inscription, Xin-Early Eastern Han dynasty, 1st century

Lot 1418. A bronze circular 'TLV' mirror with inscription, Xin-Early Eastern Han dynasty, 1st century. Estimate USD 4,000 - USD 6,000Price realised USD 3,250. © Christie's Images Ltd 2012.

The knob centering a quatrefoil within a square band of twelve nipples alternating with the characters of the Twelve Branches, surrounded by 'TLV' motifs and eight nipples as well as the Guardians of the Four Directions, the Blue Dragon, Red Bird, White Tiger and the Dark Warrior, which are further encircled by an inscription and a hatchured band below sawtooth and zigzag bands on the rim, with dark grey patina and areas of mottled, milky green patina - 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm.) diam., 3/16 in. (.4 cm.) thick, box - 430.9g

ProvenanceRobert H. Ellsworth Collection, New York, acquired in Hong Kong, 1989. 

NotesThe rubbing of a similar mirror is illustrated in Kaogu, 1980:4, p. 957, no. 2, and another excavated from a mid Eastern Han tomb is also illlustrated as a rubbing in Kaogu 1986:10, p. 342, fig. 5. Compare, also, the mirror of this type with different decoration in the square band, but otherwise very similar decoration, including that on the rim, illustrated by Shilun Wang in Zhejiang chutu tongjing (Bronze Mirrors Excavated in Zhejiang), Beijing, 1987, no. 19. 

Christie's. Luminous Perfection: Fine Chinese Mirrors from the Robert H. Ellsworth Collection, 22 March 2012, New York, Rockefeller Center