A very rare gold-inlaid iron mirror, Late Eastern Han dynasty-Early Six dynasties period

Lot 34. A very rare gold-inlaid iron mirror, Late Eastern Han dynasty-Early Six dynasties period; 17.5cm., 6 7/8 in. Weight 412g. Estimate 4,000 — 6,000 GBP. Lot sold 90,500 GBP. Photo: Sotheby's 2008

the large mirror of flat circular shape, the decoration in the form of a partially cut-out thin circular gold sheet laid onto the reverse and depicting two central figures positioned at the opposite ends of a central axis, each seated on a throne supported by a lotus flower and flanked by winged attendants and mythical creatures alternating with carriages drawn by several horses, the details finely engraved, the large hemispherical knop similarly covered with gold sheet, the reflective surface with traces of corrosion .

ExhibitedChinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1954-55, cat. no. 32.

Chinese Gold, Silver and Porcelain: the Kempe Collection, Asia House Gallery, New York, 1971, cat. no. 13, an exhibition touring the United States and shown also at nine other museums.

LiteratureBo Gyllensvärd, Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, Stockholm, 1953, pl. 32.

Bo Gyllensvärd, 'A Botanical Excursion in the Kempe Collection', Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, no. 37, 1965, pl. 18b.

Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carl Kempe Collection, The Museum of Art and Far Eastern Antiquities in Ulricehamn, Ulricehamn, 1999, pl. 30.

Sotheby's. Masterpieces of Chinese Precious Metalwork, Early Gold and Silver; Early Chinese White, Green and Black Wares, London, 14 May 2008