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Ming Dynasty mirror

Description: Over the past 3,000 years, mirrors have become more than just a grooming aid in the Chinese culture. Mirrors, through the years, were also used as tokens of love, political gifts, and burial items for the afterlife. They were usually owned by the wealthy and members of the imperial court and because these mirrors were usually portable, ranging from less than an inch in diameter to four and five inches, attributing a geographical origin to a particular style of mirror is difficult. One side of the mirror was highly polished and later years covered with silver to improve the reflection. The other side was decorated and had a small perforated knob, so that a cord could be threaded through it and attached to a belt. Some of the decorative themes include mythical and historical figures, folk tales, zoomorphic (form based on an animal) imagery, plants, flowers, birds, and other animals. This particular mirror features a relief of two koi fish in a circular pattern and probably dates to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Collection: The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Copyright: This file is licensed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
Geography: China
Subjects: Mirrors
China -- Social life and customs
China -- History -- Ming dynasty, 1368-1644

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