A bronze 'mythical beasts' mirror, and a bronze 'bosses' mirror, Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD)

1665567738243469

1665645554736485

1665657562677282

Lot 37. A silvered bronze circular 'mythical beasts' mirror, 14.2cm (5.5/8in) diam.; and a bronze 'bosses' mirror, Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), 10.2cm (4in) diamEstimate 1 000 € - 1 500 €. Sold for €1,402.50. Courtesy Bonhams.

Comprising a silvered bronze circular mirror, finely cast with striding spirit beasts alternating with four bosses, within narrow geometric pattern and inscribed bands, 14.2cm (5.5/8in) diam.; and a small bronze mirror cast in high relief with a central floral knop encircled by four bosses and scrolling foliate design with further raised decoration, within lobed border, 10.2cm (4in) diam. (2).

Provenance: Robert Rousset, Paris (1901-1981), acquired prior to 1935
Jean-Pierre Rousset, Paris (1936-2021).

NoteVery similar mirrors to the present lot, Han dynasty, are illustrated by J.Rawson and E.Bunker, Ancient Chinese and Ordos Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1998, p.242, no.161 and p.254, no.173.

A rare silvered bronze circular 'dragons' mirror, Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD)

596605793

Lot 38. A rare silvered bronze circular 'dragons' mirror, Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD), 14.2cm (5 5/8in) diamEstimate 1 000 € - 1 500 €. Sold for €2,805. Courtesy Bonhams.

With large domed central knop, encircled by a band of stylised dragons, within inscribed and comb pattern bands, the raised outer border with three thin bands of saw-tooth and zig-zag design.

Provenance: Robert Rousset, Paris (1901-1981), acquired prior to 1935
Jean-Pierre Rousset, Paris (1936-2021).

NoteThis mirror is unusual for the fine casting of two large dragons or mythical beasts within the central medallion. Compare with a related silvery bronze circular mirror with two hounds and an inscription, Sui/early Tang dynasty, which was sold at Christie's New York, 22 March 2012, lot 1431.

A silvered bronze foliate-form 'horse rider and lion' mirror, Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD)

1665744545450178

Lot 39. A silvered bronze foliate-form 'horse rider and lion' mirror, Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD), 12.7cm (12in) wideEstimate 800 € - 1 200. Sold for €3,570 . Courtesy Bonhams.

Cast in high relief to the centre with two celestial figures riding galloping sprit beasts, alternating with mountain peaks amongst cloud scrolls, the border cast with two trailing foliate stems within a raised rim.

Provenance: Robert Rousset, Paris (1901-1981), acquired prior to 1935
Jean-Pierre Rousset, Paris (1936-2021).

NoteA similar ocatafoil bronze mirror, Tang dynasty, is illustrated by Ji-hsi Chou, Circles of Reflection: The Carter Collection of Chinese Bronze Mirrors, Cleveland, 2000, p.70, no.62.

Bonhams. The Robert and Jean-Pierre Rousset Collection of Asian Art: A Century of Collecting - Part 1. Paris, 25 october 2022

A bronze circular mirror, Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD)

1665736099638063

Lot 220. A bronze circular mirror, Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD), 9.5cm. (3 3/4in) diamEstimate 1 200 € - 1 500 €. Courtesy Bonhams.

The central knop encircled by a band of sinuous bixie cast in high relief within a band of incised semi-circles alternating with squares, each marked with a stylised character, enclosed within an upright comb pattern band, a border bearing a running inscription and an outer band of tight scroll motifs.

ProvenanceRobert Rousset, Paris (1901-1981), acquired prior to 1935
Jean-Pierre Rousset, Paris (1936-2021).

NoteThe groups of four characters in the cartouches can be transcribed:

幽諫三商 配像国疆 窥德序道 敬奉豆(賢)良 周刻無耻(止) 白牙擧樂 染調主陽 聖德光明 富吉安樂 子孫番(蕃)昌 生如金石 土理高升

Which may be translated as:

'In seclusion I have refined this mirror for three periods. Its virtue matches that of the 10,000 regions. It gives form to virtue and order to the Dao. Respectfully it is offered to a good minister. It is decorated all around with blessings [engraved in a circle] without [interruption]. Bo Ya performed the music. In a multitude of blessings may the forces of yang preponderate. May wisdom and virtue shine radiantly. May there be riches, blessings, peace and joy. May your descendants flourish and spread widely. May your life be as enduring as metal and stone. May your position reach a high level. May the master of this mirror have a long life.'

A very similar bronze mirror, Eastern Han dynasty is illustrated by J.Rawson and E.Bunker, Ancient Chinese and Ordos Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1990, p.256, no.175.

A silvered bronze 'Mythical Beasts' mirror, Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD)

1665736349735246

Lot 249. A silvered bronze 'Mythical Beasts' mirror, Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD); 15cm (5 7/8in) diamEstimate 800 € - 1 200 €. Courtesy Bonhams.

Cast in high relief to the centre with three pairs of various confronted animated mythical beasts within an upright saw-tooth pattern border, the recessed well cast with a running inscription, within a raised border of further saw-tooth and floral diaper bands.

ProvenanceRobert Rousset, Paris (1901-1981), acquired prior to 1935
Jean-Pierre Rousset, Paris (1936-2021).

NoteCompare with two related bronze mirrors, Tang dynasty, illustrated by Ju-hsi Chou, Circles of Reflection: The Carter Collection of Chinese Bronze Mirrors, Cleveland, 2000, pp.62-63, nos.50-51.

A silvered bronze 'Lion, Bird and Grapewine' mirror, Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD)

1666450827021286

Lot 250. A silvered bronze 'Lion, Bird and Grapewine' mirror, Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD); 12cm (4 3/4in) diamEstimate 800 € - 1 200 €. Courtesy Bonhams.

The heavily cast mirror decorated with an inner band of four exotic long-tailed birds amongst entwined fruiting grape vines, within a raised saw-tooth and geometric pattern border, the outer band with two prancing lions amongst running grape vine, within a larger saw-tooth and foliate scroll band.

Provenance: Robert Rousset, Paris (1901-1981), acquired prior to 1935
Jean-Pierre Rousset, Paris (1936-2021).

NoteFor a similar example, see Ju-hsi Chou, Circles of Reflection: The Carter Collection of Chinese Bronze Mirrors, Cleveland, 2000, no.55, where the author suggests dating the mirror to the late 7th Century, based upon a similar example found in the tomb of Dugu Shizhen, at Xian and dated to 698; and for another 'lion and grapevine' bronze mirror, Tang dynasty, see the Royal Academy of Arts International Exhibition of Chinese Art, London, 1935, no.669.

Bonhams. The Robert and Jean-Pierre Rousset Collection of Asian Art: A Century of Collecting - Part 2. Paris, 26 october 2022.