Lot 307: Japanese Edo lady's bronze mirror, Houses & Trees

Est: $300 - $1,000
$20 1 bid
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Eternity Gallery

May 10, 2018, 11:00 AM EST
Tampa, FL, US
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Description: Authentic Japanese bronze mirror, Houses & trees, D=5.3 in., Edo period (1600-1868) This is a small, possibly lady mirror. Weight: 10 oz. = 300 g; Diameter: 5 3/8 in. = 137 mm = 13.7 cm; Total length with a handle: 9 inches = 23 cm; Rim: 4 mm, rectangular; Mirror surface: flat, polished, has some green patina; Material: bronze; Mirror is signed by the artist on the left side. Condition: Nice genuine patina all over References: Japanese bronze mirrors; Bronze mirrors were introduced into Japan from China and Korea during the Yayoi period (about 300 BC - AD 300). At first they had a religious function and were regarded as symbols of authority. The Japanese soon learnt to make their own mirrors using the lost-wax technique, decorating them with Chinese or native Japanese designs. By the Nara period (AD 710 -794) mirrors were being made for everyday use, with the increasing use of Japanese designs, such as native plants and animals symbolizing good fortune. From the Kamakura period (1185-1333) a design showing Hôraizan (the Chinese 'Island of Immortality') became popular. Mirrors gradually became more robust. They mostly have a central boss, often in the shape of a tortoise, which was pierced and a cord passed through for holding. More new designs and the first handled mirrors appeared in the Muromachi period (1333-1568). During the Edo period (1600-1868), mirrors decorated with lucky symbols or Chinese characters were given at weddings. Mirrors became larger as hairstyles became more ornate; some mirrors in Kabuki theatre dressing-rooms were up to fifty centimeters across and were placed on stands. The faces of mirrors were highly polished or burnished, with itinerant tanners and polishers specializing in this work. Since the mirror, together with the sword and the jewel, were symbols of Imperial power, mirror-makers were deeply revered and often given honorary titles such as Tenka-Ichi ('First under Heaven'). However, this title was often misused and was officially prohibited in 1682. This Japanese hand mirror is probably 75-100 years old, and is made primarily of brass. The maker's mark at the left on the back is partially illegible, but appears to be an address that begins "Ooshita Ichigami-mura . . ." ("Ooshita, Ichigami Town . . ."), although it might also be something like a caption telling what the design depicts. As shown, there is a pretty fair amount of wear and tarnish, with several spots and patches of minor, green oxidation, but there is no significant structural damage. The reflective face is quite tarnished and stained, however, and so gives virtually no reflection at all.
Condition Used, perfect;
Low Estimate: 1000;
High Estimate: 2000;
Original: Yes;
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