Bronze mirror featuring sea animals and birds


Tang Dynasty. It has a squatting beast-shaped knob, with four various sea animals in the inner zone and eight birds spaced with grapes and vine scrolls in the outer zone.

Sea animals are also called sea horses or suanni lions, which are commonly named as auspicious beasts today. It is said that grapes were introduced from West Asia and the grapes motif was popular on objects in the Sui and Tang Dynasties.

Mirrors with the same theme were excavated from Tang tombs in Honan and Shaanxi Provinces dated from 655 to 722, when such mirrors achieved its most popularity. This mirror boasts exquisite craftsmanship, excellent condition and a black patina all over the body.