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Mirror

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, South, 2nd floor
This thin cast bronze mirror has a perforated central boss from which to hang a cord. Framed in the center of the mirror are four mythical and auspicious animals: a dragon, a tiger, a deer, and a two-headed bird. The dragon, in addition to symbolizing the ruler, has the power to repel evil spirits and control natural phenomena such as floods and droughts. The tiger represents valor and courage as well as protection from disease. The deer is a symbol of longevity and friendship. The bird refers not merely to a prosperous future but to immortality itself, as the deceased might fly, symbolically, on its back to heaven.
MEDIUM Bronze
  • Place Made: Korea
  • DATES 5th-6th century
    PERIOD Three Kingdoms Period
    DIMENSIONS 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, South, 2nd floor
    EXHIBITIONS
    ACCESSION NUMBER 2010.85.1
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John P. Lyden
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Mirror, 5th-6th century. Bronze, 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John P. Lyden, 2010.85.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2010.85.1_PS11.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 2010.85.1_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2016
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     <em>Mirror</em>, 5th-6th century. Bronze, 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John P. Lyden, 2010.85.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2010.85.1_PS11.jpg)