This beautifully-preserved ancient white bronze disk mirror comes from ancient Japan, dating from the 9th to 12th century AD. It was cast by the Lost Wax method and is complete with all original features intact. The reflecting side and the back display side are simplistic and well-polished with no corrosion or modern damage. The central button that would have held a silk decorative cord, has a symbol as part of the cast design. Choice malachite mineral encrustations lightly cover several areas of the mirror, providing irrefutable proof of its ancient origin.
This ancient bronze artifact has been professionally examined, cleaned and conserved in our lab.
Bronze mirrors preceded the glass mirrors of today. This type of mirror, often incorrectly termed a copper mirror, has been found by archaeologists among elite assemblages from various cultures, from Etruscan Italy to Japan.
Bronze mirrors were produced in China from neolithic times until the Qing Dynasty, when western glass mirrors were brought to China. Bronze mirrors were usually circular, with one side polished bright, to give a reflection, and the reverse side with designs. They often had a knob in the center so that they could be attached to clothing. Some of the earliest examples of Chinese bronze mirrors belonged to the Neolithic Qijia culture from around 2000 BCE. However, until Warring States times, bronze mirrors were not common with approximately only twenty having been discovered. During the Warring States period, mirrors became particularly popular. It was during the Han Dynasty, and the introduction of the TLV mirror, that mirrors started to be mass-produced. Both Han and Tang mirrors are considered to be the most technically advanced. Bronze mirrors continued to remain popular up through the Song Dynasty, but then gradually lost their popularity and ceased to be produced after the arrival of Western mirrors during the Ming and Qing dynasties.