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TLV-Type Mirror

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
This is a popular type of Han-dynasty mirror, defined by the symmetrical arrangement of three geometric motifs resembling the Roman letters T, L, and V around the central knob. Scholars have suggested that the pattern is modeled after compasses (gui) and try squares (ju) used to mark 90-degree angles; these tools were often depicted on Han-dynasty stone engravings, in the hands of the mythological creators Fuxi and Nuwa when they were symbolically measuring and defining the cosmos. This particular mirror was purchased in 1909 in Shanghai by Stewart Culin (1858–1929), the Brooklyn Museum’s first curator of ethnology (1903–29).
MEDIUM Bronze
  • Place Made: China
  • DATES 25-220
    DYNASTY Han Dynasty
    PERIOD Early Han Dynasty (possibly)
    DIMENSIONS 1/2 x 5 1/8 in. (1.3 x 13 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
    EXHIBITIONS
    ACCESSION NUMBER 10.58
    CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1909, Purchased with funds given by Thomas T. Barr, E. LeGrand Beers, Carll H. de Silver, Herman B. Stutzer, Colonel Robert B. Woodward and Museum Collection Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION TLV-Type Mirror, 25-220. Bronze, 1/2 x 5 1/8 in. (1.3 x 13 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1909, Purchased with funds given by Thomas T. Barr, E. LeGrand Beers, Carll H. de Silver, Herman B. Stutzer, Colonel Robert B. Woodward and Museum Collection Fund, 10.58. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 10.58_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 10.58_PS9.jpg., 2019
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     <em>TLV-Type Mirror</em>, 25-220. Bronze, 1/2 x 5 1/8 in. (1.3 x 13 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1909, Purchased with funds given by Thomas T. Barr, E. LeGrand Beers, Carll H. de Silver, Herman B. Stutzer, Colonel Robert B. Woodward and Museum Collection Fund, 10.58. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 10.58_PS9.jpg)

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