Chinese bronze mirrors from the Han period
Both for their number and their workmanship, the bronze mirrors which belong to the most frequent finds of graves, occupy among Chinese antiquities a very special position. This is due to their daily use and to the importance attached to them by the Chinese. The oldest Chinese mirrors known so far belong to the middle of the Chou period. It is curious to note, however, that the brightest periods of Chinese mirror-making art do not coincide with the golden age of Chinese bronze-casting, i.e. the Shang-Yin and Chou period, but with a later age which, according to Kuo-Mo-jo’s scheme, includes the last declining period of Chinese bronze art. Thus, the art of mirror-making is the last representative of the grand old traditions of bronze-casting, and consequently the main reason accounting for this belated height of mirrors does not lie in technical problems, since they had been previously resolved anyway, but in the many-sided role played by mirrors in social life. Besides their original function, the mirrors were used as protective means against evil ghosts, or as gifts on official and festive occasions. They also played a major role at funerals and this is why there are so many of them to be found in graves.
For all these reasons there are many mirrors accumulated in museums and private collections. The relevant literature is also rather important in size; detailed studies permit to date the mirrors more exactly, within narrower limits. Among the publications appeared before the end of World War Two, the synthetic works of Karlgren,1 Umehara2 and Swallow3) are of major importance. Remarkable for the classification of mirrors and the analysis of their inscriptions, the works of Karlgren deal mainly with the pre-Han and early Han period. Swallow treats the mirrors from the earliest times till the Sung period, but not so circumstantially. The most important works on TLV mirrors will be mentioned later.
An interesting theory has been recently set forth by Bulling on the origin of mirror ornamentation from the Han period. She says that certain mirror types were covered with copies of the parasols or canopies used at ceremonies, and were thus supposed to represent the firmament. This is why the elements of heaven and of the universe can be frequently found on them. Symbols of might and power, the canopies and parasols were decorated in different ways according to the nature of the ceremony, but also according to the various clans. In tombs, the mirror often replaced the canopy or the parasol. This accounts for the fact that it is often found suspended on the ceiling of the tomb.4
Bulling’s book analyzing the mirror decoration of the Han period is of great importance.5 So far the mirrors were usually dated in a summary way from the epoch of a dynasty, or from its early or late period. Relying upon dated mirrors and on mirror finds coming from authentic and readily datable tombs, Bulling was able to reconstruct the development of the main mirror types and worked out a useful chronology.
Chinese excavations of recent years have unearthed very many mirrors, most of which were found at major constructions and are, in many cases, sporadic finds.
Despite the large number of researches there are still some questions on Chinese mirrors that have remained unexplained, such as the problem of the initial forms of bronze mirrors, or the spreading and the changed role of Chinese mirrors among neighbouring nomadic tribes. In this respect, the study of Stratanovich should be mentioned.6 He starts from the fact that there were three different kinds of mirrors used in olden China: the shafted mirror used by women, which was very rare before the T’ang period, the slightly convex and universally known mirrors used by men and finally, the flat and slightly concave ignition mirrors. Literature deals all but exclusively with the second type only, and even this is based mainly on decoration.
The use of mirrors is also a question that is still inadequately elaborated. Availing himself of Chinese sources, Stratanovich has drawn the conclusion that, from the very beginning, there were two different types of mirrors used in China: the reflecting cup (chien) and the flat, concave or convex-concave ignition mirror. At the turn of the 2nd and 3rd centuries B. C. the latter has lost its function as an ignition device and, supplanting the reflecting cup, has become a fancy article.7
The argumentation of Stratanovich is remarkable. However, the fact that concave ignition mirrors are hardly known would be difficult to be explained with nothing else than the insufficient attention of research workers. Interesting questions are also raised by Chinese mirrors found among neighbouring foreign peoples. In some respects, the importance of mirrors among nomadic tribes was presumably of a different kind, and so were the creeds attached to them. From this point of view it is interesting to note the TLV mirror fragment found in a Hunnish grave near Naimaa-Tolgoi in Central Mongolia by a joint Hungarian-Mongolian archeological expedition in 1963.8 It was in a box made of birch rind, with rests of a comb above it.
Fig. 1. Jih kuang (“sunlight”) mirror. China, Western Han period
In the last analysis, the Chinese mirrors found outside Chinese territory actually throw a light on the history of the relations between China and the neighbouring peoples. As shown in the mentioned work,9 the Chinese mirrors found so far in Mongolian graveyards of the Hsiung-nu period, can be dated from a readily definable time, i.e. the end of the Western and the beginning of the Eastern Han period. In terms of history, this is explained by the fact that as a consequence of a decisive defeat suffered from China in the middle of the 1st century B.C. the Hsiung-nu empire was split in two halves, and the northern part surrendered to China. From this time on, the rulers of that part, accompanied by large suites, went to pay their respects to the Imperial court, where they received rich gifts. At this time, Chinese mirrors came thus into Mongolia in all likelihood as gifts received in China.
The following pages contain a description of some bronze mirrors of the Han period, belonging to the Hopp Ferenc Museum:
a) Jih-kuang or ts’ao yeh (“sunshine”) mirror (fig. 1.).
A thin mirror of silvery colour, 10,2 cm in diameter. Around a comparatively small central knob there are four leaves with needle-like cusps. In a square band there is an inscription of eight characters in stylized small seal script: chien jih chih kuang t’ien hsia ta ming (when you see the light of the sun, the world is very bright). The corners are marked with slanting lines. In the external zone there are four small nipples, with a heart-shaped leaf above each of them, and brush-like petals arranged by twos next to them. Double leaves bend out at the corners of the square. The rim of 16 arcs is thicker than the base. The mirror is in good condition; minor casting unevennesses can be seen.
Fig. 2. Fragment of ts’ao yeh mirror
The main ornamental elements of ts’ao yeh mirrors are: the inscription in the square band, the four nipples, the leaves and the “brush-like petals”. This term was introduced by Karlgren who traced the development of this pattern from the petal ornament arranged on long stalks. This can actually be found already on the shou-chou mirrors he ranged into category “C”. On mirrors of the type “E” it is more complex in form and assumes the “brush-like” shape at the “F” type.10 Karlgren dated the type “E” from 250-200 B.C. and the type “F” from the beginning of the Han period. The later type “K”, including our present mirror, presents a distorted and simplified form of this decoration which is described as a bird with spread wings on account of the resemblance. On some of these mirrors there is a small ear instead of the large central knob characteristic of the Han period. This deformed brush-like pattern can be found on some early shou-chou mirrors with TLV decoration too.11 Karlgren ranged most of the K” type mirrors into the 2nd century B.C. and supposed that the pieces with large knobs were still manufactured in the 1st century B.C. The subsequent development of ts’ao yeh mirrors was summarized by Bulling.12
Thus, we may take the following factors into consideration for dating our piece: the characters of the inscription are nearly all angular, a feature indicative of the 1st century B.C., and so are – up to certain degree – the long, needle-like ends of the leaves around the knob and the dot-like decorations of the “brush-like petals”. A fair number of such mirrors are known. The mirrors published by Swallow, Vandermersch and Hansford may be cited as the next analogy to our piece.13
Fig. 3. Mirror with four spirals. China, Western Han period
In regard to the development of ts’ao yeh mirrors it is interesting to note one of our fragments which still shows traces of experimentation (fig. 2.): here the twin leaves are placed each on a separate stalk, while the four nipples are located in the corners of the inscription square. This mirror has a thin laced ear, while its rim is characteristic of pre-Han mirrors. Radius: 5 cm. These features and particularly the small laced ear are indicative of the 2nd century B.C. The twin leaves are sited on a recurved stalk ending in a dot. Next to this pattern are leaf reproductions on the mirror of the Hallwyl Museum and on a mirror found near Hsian.14
b) Mirror with four spirals (fig. 3.).15
The high central knob is placed on a plain base and is joint to a plain ring with three parallel slanting lines and three arched ones. In the main zone surrounded by rings with slanting comb-teeth there are four spiral decorations including a small boss in each. Three different small bird figures are around each of the decorations. The patterns also include small spirals and lines. The rim is even and thick. The mirror is broken in three pieces. The fractures clearly show on the reflecting side a 1 mm bronze plate of different material, perhaps for holding the pieces of the broken mirror together. There is a haircrack on the largest piece too, which could not be noticed but by the decoloration appearing at conservation. The mirror is of 10.1 cm in diameter and, in the middle, of 2 mm in thickness.
Fig. 4. Inscription mirror. China, Western Han period.
The mirrors with the four S-shaped decorations are often named ssu-hui or ssu-ju mirrors. The pattern is described in different ways: Swallow calls it a small lizard, Milan Rupert, describing similar pieces of the Todd Collection belonging to the Han period, speaks about “conventionalized lions, tigers, animals”.16 The two latter of his examples correspond to our piece. The Sianfu piece Nr. 420 was a “magic” mirror. Nr. 15 is a rare specimen of this type. It is much larger than the average (diam. 16.4 cm) and is surrounded, according to the description, with conventionalized tigers, dragon birds and other minor animals, which are unfortunately quite undistinguishable on the poor reproduction. Bulling treats such mirrors among the mirrors with four serpents” and considers the double spirals as simplifications of snakes.17 She believes this simplification to have taken place on these mirrors in the 1st century B.C. Mirrors of this kind were unearthed by recent Chinese excavations mainly at graves dating from the later Western Han period.18
Fig. 5. Inscription (ming kuang) mirror. China, Western Han period
This mirror type shows the main difference in the base of the central knob: one of the principal alternatives is the base with quatrefoil (e.g. on the piece described by Bulling), while at the other, represented by our piece too, the base is joined to the ring by several parallel and arched lines. Minor differences can be observed in the finish of the S-shaped decorations, as well as in the number and shape of the birds.
c) Mirror with inscription (fig. 4.).
Round and thick mirror of very good quality, with a small knob. The base of the knob is alternately joint to the high, eight-arched ring with arched and straight threefold lines. Surrounded by a narrower and a wider band with slanting combteeth there is a field bearing an inscription of eight archaic characters, which are alternately separated by spirals and crossed squares: chien jih chih kuang t’ien hisia ta ming (when you see the light of the sun, the world is very bright). The rim is plain and thick. 8.1 cm in diameter, the mirror is of a “lacquered” (hei ch’i ku) greyish black surface; its casting is excellent. Mirrors of this type are rather frequent in graves of the Western Han period and are also named ch’ing pai (..pure white”) mirrors on account of two characters to be found often on them. By way of analogy we may mention a piece of the Hallwyl Museum19 and the mirror described by Swallow.20
According to Bulling these mirrors are characteristic of the 1st century B.C. The small archaic knob, the straight and arched lines (which she believes were supposed to render the structural parts of the parasol) were mostly found on mirrors of the 1st century B.C.21 Our piece distinguishes itself from that described by Bulling by the inner circle of arcs which is equally representative of the last stage of the Western Han period.
Fig. 6. Inscription mirror. China, Western Han period
Among recent Chinese finds, two mirrors can be cited by way of analogy, which have been found in the eastern suburb of Hsian in graves of the Han period.22 The threefold connecting lines are here replaced by crossed squares.
d) Mirror with inscription (ming kuang) (fig. 5.).
The even base of the comparatively small, hemispherical central knob is surrounded by a circle of eight arcs. At each point of the arcs there is a curved line, every second of which is joint with parallel lines to the base of the knob. In the main zone between the two bands with slanting comb-teeth there is an inscription, with the character erh repeated after every second character: nei ch’ing i chao ming kuang fu ji yüeh (its interior is pure and thereby it reflects the light; its brilliance is like the sun and the moon). The rim of the mirror is even and thick, its diameter of 8,3 cm. There are minor offcasts on the internal ring. It is covered with green and red-brown patina. Similar mirrors are known from many graves of the Han period and are mentioned by the name of erh-tzu or ming-kuang. There is usually no coherent text to be gathered from these mirrors on account of the inserted characters “erh”; so Hirth thought that the character erh stands for t’ien (heaven), an opinion that is not shared by Karlgren. Giles thinks that this character may have several other meanings too (“similar” and thou”). According to Bulling, the character erh reminds of ornamental motifs to be found on lacquers and other objects of the Western Han period. As far as the two bands with the slanting coinb-teeth are concerned, she thinks they refer to the location of the inscription on a parasol.23 Such mirrors with inscriptions occured frequently in the second half of the Western Han period. Analogous specimens found in Hsian may be mentioned among recent Chinese finds.24 The Dong-Son mirror of Hanoi Museum is also comparable, with only the inner circle of arcs missing.25
Fig. 7. Presentation mirror. China, Middle Han period
e) Mirror with inscription (nei-hsiang lien hu) (fig. 6.).
The high, large knob rises from a quatrefoil-patterned base which is surrounded by a plain ring and by one with slanting comb-teeth. Between the leaves of the quatrefoil there are needle-like decorations with linear ornaments curved on both sides. Further outside there is a large eight-part circle of arcs at the points of which threefold lines and double spiral ornaments emerge towards the centre. An arched decoration of three lines is situated in the internal slope of the arcs; between two stripes with slanting indentation there is the inscription of 34 characters: lien yeh ch’ien hua ch’ing erh ming i chih wei ching yin i wen chang yen nien i shou ch’ü pu hsiang yü t’ien wu chi erh jih yüeh kuang chien ch’iu wan (I refine and work the flower (essence) of the lead; it is pure and bright; then it is suitable for a decoration; may you have extended years and longevity; may (the mirror) eliminate what is baleful; may you be as everlasting as Heaven; (the mirror) is like the light of the sun and the moon; may you have a thousand autumns and ten thousand … (interrupted). The rim of the mirror is broad and thick and is covered with red-brown and green patina. The mirror is made of high-quality material of a silvery grey colour; its casting is excellent. Diameter: 18.7 cm.
Fig. 8. TLV mirror. China, Middle Han period
The inscription mirrors appeared in China in the Western Han period and were most in vogue in the 1st century B. C. Karlgren published similar mirror inscriptions.26 On mirrors of this type it frequently occured that the central knob was surrounded with 12 flat discs. Inscriptions running through two bands were also found. On a piece dating from 6 A. D. and found in a Korean grave there is an inscription referring to Wang Mang. The linear ornaments between the arcs are other than those on our mirror, while the rim is decorated with a double saw-tooth pattern. By way of analogy to this mirror, Bulling mentions some mirrors of Changsha dating from the second half of the 1st century B.C.27 The round-headed needle-like decorations between the leaves of the quatrefoil may find their analogy in the inscription mirror found in 1956 near Hsian, which has also a ring of arcs.28
Fig. 9. TLV mirror. China, Eastern Han period
f) Presentation mirror (fig. 7.).
A mirror of excellent quality, with “lacquered” (hei ch’i ku) greyish black surface. The hemispherical knob is surrounded by a quatrefoil, with a character between each of the leaves: chang i tzu sun (“may you forever have sons and grandsons”).
The quatrefoil is surrounded by a salient ring and an eightfold ring of arcs. Placed on a semicircle in the points of the arcs, there are threefold lines and double decorations attached to spirals alternating with one another. The internal edge of the arcs is attached to the internal ring by a threefold pattern of parallel lines. Further outside, between two stripes with slanting comb-teeth, there are eight big spirals connected by straight and transversal lines. 14 cm in diameter, the mirror has a broad plain rim.
The decoration of such presentation mirrors was rather of a standard type, with no differences but in minor details. Similar pieces were published by Umehara from the Sumitomo collection29 and by Rupert from the Todd collection.30
The spirals may be replaced by concentrical circles, or there may be a difference in the connecting part between the ring of arcs and the centre. The finish of these mirrors does credit to the finest Chinese craftsmanship. Very many of them were found in Shantung province. The possible symbolic meanings of the decoration were summarized by Bulling, who defines them as cosmic mirrors.31 A pattern composed of spirals or concentric circles is characteristic of the decoration of these mirrors. Other decorative elements can be frequently found on mirrors of kindred types too. When dating the type, it is important to know that such a mirror was found in a Korean grave together with other objects dated from 42–69 A. D. and that Bulling describes a specimen dating from 64 A. D.32 The internal ring in itself is characteristic of the middle of the Han period, while the inscription “chang i tzu sun” is mainly found on mirrors of the Eastern Han period.
g) TLV mirror (fig. 8.).
The comparatively small knob lies on a recessed ring. In a square zone around it the symbols of the duodenary cycle are alternating each other, with a nipple between each of them. Leaf-like decorations are situated at the internal corners of the square. There are eight nipples between the TLV patterns, with animal figures which personify the four seasons: in the northern quarter there is the tortoise with the snake, next to it a hare; in the eastern quarter there is the Green dragon, to the left of it an immortal in feather attire; on the south we find the Red bird with another bird figure, and on the west the White tiger and a goat. Here and there the thick patina layer makes it difficult to distinguish the animal figures. There are small spirals, lines and dots between them. The zone is bordered by a band with slanting comb-teeth. On the rim there is a narrow saw- or dog toothed stripe and a broad “rolling cloud” pattern. 14 cm in diameter, the mirror is made of a well cast high-quality bronze, with “lacquered” (hei ch’i ku) surface.
Western scientists have set forth a number of theories for explaining the TLV symbols, whereas in China these mirrors were analyzed on the basis of other elements. In regard to TLV mirrors, the most important works in earlier literature were those of Kaplan and Yetts, besides those of Karlgren.33 These symbols were found in similar arrangement on Chinese sun-dials and astrological instruments. The most important works in recent literature are those of Cammann and Bulling. Cammann has made an interesting attempt to explain the signs and the symbology of TLV mirrors, by trying to interpret the ornamental details in their unity. Accordingly, the central knob represents the World Mountain, K’un Lun Shan, while the square stands for China; the V symbols divide the world into four parts (“Four Seas”) which are accessible through the doors symbolized by the symbols T. The rim with the rolling cloud pattern represents Heaven itself. Cammann supports this explanation of the T symbols with later Tibetan mandala paintings where there are actually doors on the sides of the square.34 The interpretation of the symbols V and T is acceptable, but the problem of the symbols L does not seem to be resolved unambiguously. Cammann considers them either as doors leading into remote regions of the external world or, according to the explanation of the cosmic game liu po as caverns. He believes the area indicated behind the L-s must have been wet, because there are reproductions of fishes on a TLV mirror behind these symbols. It is interesting to note on our mirror the long needle-like patterns between the side of the L-s and the rim, with 3 short cross lines at the inside end of each. This pattern can be found also on two mirrors of the Hanoi Museum, dating from the end of the Western Han period.35 In most cases there are small spirals under the symbols L.
Recently, several works of Bulling have treated the development and the meaning of TLV mirrors. In her opinion, the TLV mirrors represent the ceiling of a building and, at the same time, a parasol or a canopy. The symbols T represent the ends of beams, the V-s stand for the triangular wall brackets, and the L-s for the props.36 This interpretation of the TLV mirrors is not inconsistent with their cosmic meaning.
From the middle of the 2nd century B. C. the TLV mirrors remained very popular throughout the entire Han period. In order to fix more precisely the age of our piece, the following details should be taken into account: the knob of the mirror is comparatively small, it is surrounded by a plain ring, while a leaflet is situated in each corner of the square. Similar central and corner patterns can be found on mirrors of the transition period and the early Eastern Han period.37 The simplification of the mirror centre is characteristic of the transition between the Western and the Eastern Han period. In animal reproductions we cannot find yet the broad-chested conventionalized animal figures of the highly developed Wang Mang style. There is still more striving after realism, the animals are rendered rather in motion. It is mainly from the last third of the 1st century B. C. we can find an analogy to the figure of the only immortal, hsien-jen. The “rolling cloud” pattern on the rim can be frequently found on mirrors of the Wang Mang period, but later too. So, our mirror can be dated with fair probability from the end of the 1st century B. C.
h) TLV mirror (fig. 9.).
Somewhat larger than that of the previous mirror, the hemispherical knob lies on a plain ring. It is surrounded by a square zone, with 12 small nipples and the symbols of the duodenary cycle. In the external zone there are the TLV symbols, as well as 8 major nipples with the animal figures representing the seasons of the year: in the north the turtle with the snake, next to it a hsien-jen; in the eastern quarter, the Green dragon, with a pheasant-like bird to the left; in the south the Red bird, with a stag to the left; in the west, the White Tiger and a goat. Small spirals and dots are between the animal figures. The whole zone ends in a stripe with slanting comb-teeth. The rim is rather thick and is decorated with a threefold zig-zag or saw-tooth pattern, the central line being drawn in double. The mirror is of a silvery colour, with a little green and red-brown patina on both sides. Diameter: 14.3 cm.
In addition to what has been said about the previous mirror, its analysis may be completed by what follows: the fact that the knob is somewhat larger is indicative of a later date. There is a sharp difference in the rendering of animal figures: instead of the earlier realistic representation, these figures are characterized by a strong arched chest and a snake-like neck. This is the most conspicuous on the figure of the tiger. These features refer to the Wang Mang period and the subsequent age. The details of the animal figures are not as fine as they were earlier or as they are on the previous mirror. As a rule, the zig-zag or saw-tooth rim decoration is not too useful for dating; however, the central double zig-zag line is somewhat broader than the two saw-tooth patterns on its two sides. According to Bulling, this is characteristic of earlier times, while on pieces of a later date the double zig-zag line often takes place in a narrower stripe.38 Our mirror can thus be dated most probably from the first half of the Eastern Han period.
It is interesting to note that the sequence of the animal figures on our mirror is all but exactly the same as that on a TLV mirror of Hanoi Museum, which is probably of Dong-son origin and is dated by Vandermersch from the end of the Western Han period. However, other details of the mirror are dissimilar: the knob is placed on four leaves, there is no inscription and the central zig-zag line of the rim is considerably narrower.39
- Karlgren, B.: Early Chinese mirror inscriptions. BMFEA, No. 6. Stockholm, 1934, pp. 9-81; Huai and Han. BMFEA, No. 13. 1941. Pp. 1-125
- Umehara, Sueji: Kan sangoku rikucho kinen kyo zusetzu. Kyoto, 1944.
- Swallow, R. W.: Ancient Chinese bronze mirrors. Peiping, 1937.
- Bulling, A.: The decoration of some mirrors of the Chou and Han periods. Artibus Asiae. Vol. XVIII. 1955. Pp. 20-45.
- Bulling, A.: The decoration of mirrors of the Han period. Ascona, 1960. (Further on: The decoration.)
- Stratanovich, G. G.: Kitayskie bronzovye zerkala: ih tipy, ornamentaciya i ispolzovanye, Vostochnoaziatski etnograficheski sbornik. II. Moscow, 1961, pp. 47-78.
- ibid. p. 78.
- Ferenczy, L.: The fragment of a Chinese TLV mirror from Naimaa-Tolgoi and the Chinese mirror finds in Hunnish graves in Mongolia. Acta Archaelogica. Budapest, 1967.
- Karlgren: Huai and Han. BMFEA. No. 13. p. 101. Pls. 51-52.
- ibid. Pl. 51. F 1., 2 and Pl. 52. F 5., 6; Bulling: The decoration . . . Pl. 8., 9.
- ibid. p. 23.
- Swallow: op. cit. Pl. 50; Vandermersch, L.: Les miroirs de bronze du musée de Hanoi. Paris, 1960. Pl. I., II.; Hansford, S.H.: The Seligman collection of Oriental art. Vol. I. London, 1957. Pl. XXXI.
- Hallwylska Samlingen, Östasiatiska smabronser. Stockholm, 1933. Grupp., XLIX. I.: E. 11.; Shansi shen chu-tu t’ung-ching. Peking, 1959. Pl. 10.
- Gift of Pál Miklós who acquired it in Hsian.
- Milan Rupert, O. J. Todd: Chinese bronze mirrors. Peiping, 1935. No. 15, 34., 420.
- Bulling : The decoration … p. 26. PI. 19.
- K’ao ku t’ung hsün. 1956. No. 1. p. 37.; Shansi-sheng chu-tu t’ung ching. PI. 51, 52; Kaogu. 1964. No. 8. pp. 393 — 402.
- Hallwylska Samlingen, Östasiatiska smabronser. Grupp XLIX, I: E. 12., 13., 14.
- Swallow: op. Cit. Pl. 28., 29.
- Bulling: The decoration … p. 27. PI. 20.
- Shansi-sheng chu-tu t’ung ching. PI. 34., 35.
- Bulling: The decoration … p. 27., 29.
- Shansi-sheng tu t’ung ching, PI. 28., 29.; Kaogu. 1963. No. 3.
- Vandermersch: op. cit. p. 10 and Pl. III.
- Karlgren: Early Chinese mirror inscriptions, pp. 23., 24, No. 72 — 74.
- Bulling: The decoration … pp. 27 — 28. PI. 22., 23.
- Shansi-sheng chu-tu t’ung ching. PI. 30.
- Senoku-Seisho or The collection of old bronzes of Baron Sumitomo. Part II. Ancient mirrors. Tokyo, 1921. PI. 101.
- Op. cit. Pl. V. No. 13.
- Bulling: The decoration … pp. 30 — 31.
- ibid. PI. 25.
- Kaplan, S. M.: On the origin of TLV mirrors. Revue des Arts Asiatiques. Vol. XI. 1937.; Yetts, W. P.: The Cull Chinese bronzes. London. 1939.
- Cammann, Schuyler: TLV patterns on cosmic mirrors of the Han period. JAOS, Vol. 68. 1948; The symbolism in the Chinese mirror patterns. Journal of the Indian Society of Oriental Art. Vol. XIX. 1952 — 53.
- Vandermersch: op. cit. Pl. VIII. A. B.
- Bulling: The decoration of some mirrors of the Chou and Han periods. Artibus Asiae. Vol. XVIII. 1955. pp. 33 — 45.
- Cf. Bulling: The decoration … p. 60. Fig. 5 d. e.
- ibid. pp. 63 – 64.
- Op. cit. Pl. VIII. Fig. A.