Bronze mirror with animals of the Chinese zodiac and the eight trigrams, Southern Song to Yuan dynasty, 13th century
- Image Number: C1A000342N000000000PAB
- Dynasty: Southern Song dynasty
- Category: Bronzes
- Function: Household appliance
- Material: Mineral/Metal/Bronze
Round mirror, turtle shaped button, octagonal button seat. With the mirror button as the center, the eight trigrams, the twelve Chinese zodiac signs and the inscriptions are arranged in turn. The inscription is twenty words a week: “Mercury is yin essence, which can be refined into a mirror. The eight trigrams are well prepared, and the God of Wei will stay (protect) his life forever.” In the Song and Yuan Dynasties, most tombs used mirrors to suppress evil spirits. (Song Dynasty) Zhou Mi’s “Gui Xin Miscellaneous Knowledge” said: “After the Great Recapture, the coffin was hung in a mirror, and the coffin was covered to take light from the corpse and break through the darkness.”. The Liao Tomb in Xuanhua, Hebei, has a mirror hanging on the top of the tomb, with a star map to symbolize the celestial phenomena. Similar Bagua mirrors were popular in the Song and Yuan Dynasties. They were not only unearthed in the cellars of the Song Dynasty, but also found in the tombs of the Yuan Dynasty. A bronze mirror similar to this one hangs on the top of a Yuan Dynasty tomb in Zhangxian County, Gansu Province.
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