Antiques, Artifacts & Fine Collectibles. Chinese Auspicious Silver-Plated Bronze Lunar Mirror. With the Chinese Moon Goddess Change as.
The Jade Rabbit Stirs the Elixir of Immortality. The Jade Rabbit in the Moon pounds the medicine in vain. Li Bai, famous poet of the Tang Dynasty in his poem "The Old Dust".This ancient Chinese Bronze Mirror is silver-plated, weighs 2.0 lbs. And measures about 7.6 (193 mm) in diameter x. 30 (7.63 mm) thick at the rim's edge and dates approximately to the famous Tang Dynasty (618--907). Specifically, this style appears to have been popular in China during the 9. In Tang times, the best bronze mirrors were produced in Yangzhou, China, a prosperous metropolis in the lower Yangzi River basin. Bronze mirrors are traditionally invested with the symbolic power to avert calamities and ward off Evil Spirits. This mirror is crisply cast in relief and depicts the self-healing Guìhu. Most of the lunar mirrors of this type place the cassia tree in the center, thereby accenting the sense of gui (returning).
The center knob or boss is cast in high relief into the center of the Guìhu Trees trunk with a hole to suspend it from a cord. To the left, the famous Jade Rabbit, who is sometimes called the Gold Rabbit, stirs the Elixir of Immortality for immortals, while his partner the Moon Spirit toad, depicted below him, looks on. An early historical reference that there is a rabbit on the moon appears in the Chu Ci , a Western Han anthology of Chinese poems from the Warring States period, which notes that along with a toad called the Moon Spirit, there is a rabbit on the moon who constantly pounds herbs for the immortals. This notion is supported by later texts, including the Imperial Readings of the Taiping Era encyclopedia of the Song Dynasty.Han Dynasty poets call the rabbit on the moon " Yutu " or the "Jade Rabbit". , and these phrases were often used in place of the word for the moon. A famous poet of the Tang Dynasty period, Li Bai, relates how: " The rabbit in the moon pounds the medicine in vain " in his poem The Old Dust. On the right side, the mythical and immortal Chinese Moon Goddess Change is depicted in the guise of a Buddhist Goddess (apsara) holding an offering while in flight. Sometime before 784 AD, this new iconography of the lunar landscape came into being. Added to the moon scene is Change , wife of Yi the Archer who was a mythological demigod whose superhuman feats include shooting down with his corded arrows the ten suns that scorched grains and plants in primordial times. Yis lonely wife, neglected by her busy husband, steals his elixir of immortality.
On the strength of the drug, she flies to the moon where in one tale, she turns into a toad, the Moon Spirit. This mirror design is based on old, mythical tale where Change is shown flying in midair, about to land on the moon. She holds in her right hand a plaque on which is inscribed daji (great auspiciousness). Apparently, the allusion is to one version of the tale in which Change seeks divination from Youhuang and is told: Auspiciousness. The fluttering returning young woman (pianpian guimei) alone shall head toward the west.The day may be dim; but panic not. The scene is faithfully conveyed through the design. This lovely mirror was likely a very expensive wedding gift that perhaps took place during the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival within the elite Tang upper-class about 1,200 years ago!
During the Warring States period, mirrors became particularly popular and then were not produced in any great quantity until a revival during the famous Tang Dynasty (618--907). During that time, they became the "go-to" gift to present to young, married couples.
They vary in size and, of course, in stylesome are round, while others are square. This 20 cm round example is one of the larger types and the mythical lunar motifs are stunning. Please look carefully at the macro photos and you will see the amazing detail that has been cast in relief. Since ancient times, the lunar landscape occupies a special place in the Chinese imagination and takes on a distinct character.
A nebulous sphere at once watery and crystalline, it is not the barren and dusty planetoid our modern imagination now takes it to be. An osmanthus tree is said to dominate its landscape. The Moon Spirit toad is a clammy and slimy creature with watery associations and epitomizes the damp world that was thought to exist on the lunar surface. While the indefatigable Jade Rabbit persistently pounds herbs into an elixir in the mortar, producing a thump that reverberates in this otherwise hushed and eerie lunar landscape.In December 2013, China landed its first unmanned lunar probe on the Moon--it was called " Yutu " or the Jade Rabbit. Museum quality condition for the discriminating private collector. The silver-plated coating on the bronze mirror is heavily encrusted with green oxidation from the bronze and red oxidation from the tin in the bronze. Notable loss of the silver plating on both sides of the mirror, which has not been tested for thickness or purity.
Has a wonderful, old, greenish patina (from the malachite in the surrounding soil interacting with the bronze) that is typical of bronze that has been buried for over 1,200 years. Although the smooth, polished side of mirror on the reverse side is heavily oxidized, it still shows traces of silver-coating and still reflects an image as you can see my hand holding the camera in several of these photos. A similar bronze mirror dated 722, now in the Shanghai Museum, presents the earliest dated surviving Tang mirror design known to us that depicts the lunar landscape.Therefore, this lunar Tang mirror dates to about 725850 AD. Silver-coated bronze mirrors from Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) that depict the Moon Rabbit and the Gui Tree are seldom unearthed and therefore considered VERY RARE and Highly Collectible! This is a Museum quality piece that is Extremely RARE! This Chinese figure of rabbit on the lunar surface is a representation of the mythical Chinese Jade Rabbit, also called the Gold Rabbit, who lives on the Moon and creates the elixirs of immortality for the Buddhist Goddess of the moon, called Change.
This stunning Bronze Moon Mirror dates approximately to Chinas Tang Dynasty, which lasted from 618-907. The Jade Rabbit and the Moon Goddess Change. The amazing figure to the left of the tree is the Chinese Moon Goddess called Change. According the Chinese legend, an immortal Jade Rabbit lives on the Earths Moon and makes elixirs of life.In Chinese folklore, he is often portrayed as a companion of the Moon Goddess Chang'e, constantly pounding the elixir of life for her. In Japanese and Korean versions, the Jade Rabbit is just pounding the ingredients for rice cakes.
An early historical reference that there is a rabbit on the moon appears in the Chu Ci , a Western Han anthology of Chinese poems from the Warring States period, which notes that along with a toad, there is a rabbit on the Moon who constantly pounds herbs for the immortals. Han Dynasty poets call the rabbit on the moon the "Jade Rabbit". A famous poet of the Tang Dynasty period, Li Bai, relates how: "The rabbit in the moon pounds the medicine in vain" in his poem The Old Dust.
The Mythical Story of Wu Gang & the Chinese. Wu Gang or Wu Kang is a character in Chinese folklore and Taoism who was set the task of cutting down a self-healing Guìhu Tree on the Moon.
The story of Wu Gang has often been associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival. The reason for this connection remains unclear, although different versions of the story offer several different explanations. The Book of the Master of Huainan, from the Han Dynasty, records that when the moon waxes, the foot of an immortal grows into a laurel. However, Wu Gang is not mentioned in that book. Miscellaneous morsels from Youyang records that the tree on the Moon is over five hundred chi high, and Wu Gang of Xihe stands under it.It is also recorded that immortals are sent to the moon to chop down the laurel tree when they make a mistake. In the earliest known version of the story as it exists now, Wu Gang's wife had an affair with Yandi's grandson and had three sons with him. Wu murdered Yandi's grandson in revenge. Consequently, Yandi ordered Wu to be banished to the moon, where he would cut down a laurel tree.
However, the tree healed itself after each blow. Consequently, Wu was forced to spend eternity trying to perform a task that could never be completed. In another version of the tale, Wu Gang wished to learn to become an immortal, but he did not try very hard. The Jade Emperor was furious and decided to punish him.
The Emperor created a cherry bay tree on the moon. Wu Gang was asked to chop it down in order to become an immortal. Wu Gang tried to chop down the tree but, because of the tree's self-healing abilities, it was impossible.
The shadows on the moon are said to be created by the cherry bay tree. In yet another version, Wu wished to be taught the method of eternal life.
He found a teacher in the mountains. When his teacher tried to teach him to heal, Wu gave up after three days.
When Wu was taught to play Chinese chess, he gave up learning after two days. When Wu received lessons in the method of eternal life, he lost interest after a day.
His teacher sent him to the moon to chop down a tree of unnamed species. From the occasion of its blossoming, the sweet osmanthus is closely associated with the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.Osmanthus wine is a traditional choice for the "reunion wine" drunk with one's family, and osmanthus-flavored confections and teas may also be consumed. Chinese mythology held that a sweet osmanthus. Grows on the moon and was endlessly cut by Wu Gang: some versions held that he was forced to cut it every 1000 years lest its luxuriant growth overshadow the moon itself, others that he was obliged to cut it constantly only to see it regrow an equal amount every day. In late imperial China, the osmanthus was also associated with the imperial examinations, which were held in the 8th lunar month. Mirrors & the Moon in 8. In ancient China, bronze mirrors symbolized good fortune and were thought to protect their owners against evil spirits. Chinese bronze mirrors are usually circular with one side highly polished to provide a reflective surface and the other side decorated with an inscription and symbols. 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 usually 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 2,000 BC. However, until Warring States times (475--221 BC), bronze mirrors were not common with approximately only twenty having been discovered. They vary in size and, of course, style. This 20 cm example is one of the larger types and the mythical moon motifs are stunning.
Osmanthus tree is said to dominate its landscape. The toad, a clammy and slimy creature with watery associations, epitomizes the damp world there. While the indefatigable hare persistently pounds herbs into an elixir in the mortar, producing a thump that reverberates in this otherwise hushed and eerie lunar landscape.
The mirror also presents other symbolism. A mirror bearing the image of the moon is infinitely suggestive. It materializes a long-standing analogy between the moon and the mirror that gained particular currency in eighth and ninth centuries, when the moon appears to have caught the collective fancy. A great deal was invested in the moon, both symbolically and emotionally; thus, the moon mirror provides a material testimony to this interest.
In terms of quality and production, the period from the Warring States (475-221 BC) through the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) was the heyday of Chinese bronze mirrors. Mirrors were believed to have strong amulet powers that could ward off evil spirits. An invisible demon would flee when it saw its reflection in a mirror.
Since it is believed that this mirror was used to provide protection, the mirror was probably hung with the inscription side facing outwards. Mirrors used for this purpose frequently had concave surfaces on the side with the inscription and decorations.
This mirror is concave on its inscription side, as the Chinese believed a concave mirror would invert the image of a ghost, and thus overturn or repel any evil influences. For this reason, Daoists often wore these mirrors hanging down the back to protect against being blind-sided by a ghost.These mirrors were given as wedding and birthday gifts and hung in traditional Chinese houses in order to scare away evil spirits and to bring good luck and prosperity. Daoist priests also used the concave bronze mirrors to collect dew which, because of its purity, was used in rituals. Visual and Spoken Chinese Auspicious Symbols. One of the peculiarities of the Chinese language is that it has a very large number of written characters, but a much smaller number of spoken sounds. As a result, many Chinese characters share the same pronunciation, i. The images cast into ancient, bronze mirrors frequently took advantage of this characteristic. The mirrors may use depictions of animals, plants and other objects to substitute for other words because of their similarity in pronunciation, even though they may not have any other relationship to what is being expressed. So, the pictures of animals on mirrors usually have hidden or implied meaning or a visual pun if you will, and this is what the Chinese refer to as auspicious or lucky pictures jixiangtuan. A more technical term in English would be a rebus.
Objects on mirrors such as mythical animals have become symbols because of their similar pronunciation to auspicious Chinese words. On this elaborately cast mirror there are a number of such auspicious symbols.
Listed below is as short explanation of each of these symbols. The Chinese word for "round" yuan. Is pronounced the same as the word for "first" yuan. Again, the round, bronze mirror suggests that this lovely mirror was a birthday gift and a wish for a long life and a happy marriage.
Mirrors in China symbolize good fortune and are believed to protect against evil spirits. Traditional marriage gifts included a bronze mirror tongjing. Because the words combined express "together and in harmony" tongxie. The mirror can be included as one of the Eight Treasures.Museums and modern archeological studies usually use the general term copper alloy instead of just the term bronze to describe these ancient treasures, as many other elements (such as tin, lead, zinc, iron, and even arsenic) were added to the copper to form different strengths of types of bronze items. Ancient bronze artifacts such as this mirror are probably about 80% copper and 20% tin, while modern bronze is closer to 88% copper and 12% tin. It has a wonderful old, patina that is absolutely fabulous: a greenish patina from the malachite in the surrounding soil and some dark red patina from the cupite and iron in the soil. This combination of colors forms a fantastic patina that is typical of bronze that has been buried for over 2,000 years. Close examination with a microscope under natural and black light reveal it to be 100% authentic and cast by hand in a sand mold. One interesting property of bronze is that once it has oxidized superficially, a copper oxide layer is formed on the surface and essentially protects the object from further damaging corrosion. This protective layer turns in another compound, called copper carbonate for you scientists out there, which protects most bronze pieces from further corrosion. I have carefully examined this mirror under magnification and it shows authentic and original signs of weathering and ground contact that help to further authenticate it as an ancient piece.
It shows green oxidation, pitting and erosion on both sides, especially on the mirror side. You will not be disappointed!
It is exceeding rare to find silver plated bronze mirrors for sale. It is a museum quality, ancient Chinese work of art. It is a wonderful piece and would look great displayed next to your other fine ancient Chinese jade and bronze pieces!It would also make a fantastic wedding gift for that special couple! You can add this mirror to your collection for a fraction of that price! I obtained this mirror directly from a dealer in Hong Kong, China, and I Guarantee it to be original and authentic.
This is the first time this lovely bronze mirror is being offered for sale in the United States. Please examine the photos taken indoors carefully as they are part of the description. The item "Ancient Chinese Tang Dyn. 7 Bronze Lunar Moon Immortality Mirror Jade Rabbit" is in sale since Saturday, October 6, 2018. This item is in the category "Antiques\Asian Antiques\China\Other Chinese Antiques".The seller is "houghton-usa" and is located in Sequim, Washington. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada.