Two silvery-grey bronze circular mirrors. Tang dynasty (618-907). photo Christie's Ltd 2011
The first cast in relief with the four divine beasts, dragon, phoenix, tiger and black tortoise, surrounding the knob which rises from a flower head encircled by stamen; the knob of the other flanked by a seated Daoist immortal and a phoenix in flight, with bamboo above and rocks amidst waves below; 5 and 5 1/8 in. (12.7 and 13 cm.) diam. (2). Estimate $4,000 - $6,000. Price Realized $52,500
Provenance: Both: J.T. Tai & Co., New York, 1966.
Two bronze mirrors. Tang dynasty, 8th-9th century. photo Christie's Ltd 2011
One of square form with indented corners, cast in low relief with a scaly dragon encircling the knob; the other large and of circular form, with a square flat knob within square outer fields, the inner field with angular scrolls flanked by characters arranged in quadrants, the outer field with broken lines, all surrounded by celestial motifs flanked by clouds; together with a thin circular mirror, the knob encircled by two incised long-tailed birds; 6¼ in. (16 cm.) square, 9 3/8 and 5 5/8 in. (24 and 14.5 cm.) diam. (3). Estimate $7,000 - $9,000. Price Realized $30,000
Provenance: All: J.T. Tai & Co., New York, 1966 or earlier.
Exhibited: First two: The Columbia University Exhibition of the T'ang Dynasty and Its Antecedents, Low Memorial Library, 1967, nos. 40 and 41, respectively.
Two bronze mirrors. Warring States Period (475-221 BC). photo Christie's Ltd 2011
Both flat cast with intertwined scrolling dragons reserved on a patterned ground, the larger with four dragons, one leg of each dragon extending back and then forming a zigzag terminating in a claw, all within narrow hatchured bands; the smaller with three dragons, the knob in the center rising from an openwork surround of a striding dragon; both mirrors with satiny black patina; 9½ and 7 5/8 in. (24.2 and 19.3 cm.) diam., box (2). Estimate $4,000 - $6,000. Price Realized $27,500.
Provenance: Both: J.T. Tai & Co., New York; first 1966 or earlier, second 1965.
Exhibited: Larger mirror: Aspects of Ch'ang-Sha Culture, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 21 August - 24 September 1967.
Two large bronze lobed mirrors. Tang dynasty (618-907). photo Christie's Ltd 2011
The larger of octafoil form finely cast in high relief with two phoenixes standing either side of the knob and suspending tassle-hung emblems from their beaks, with two geese standing on lotus above the knob and a pair of mandarin ducks standing on a lotus leaf between two lotus flowers below, with two cranes and two geese also trailing tassels alternating with foliate sprays in the lobed outer field; the smaller of hexafoil form, the knob encircled by petals and a border of stamen, all surrounded by six flowers; 11¼ and 8 5/8 in. (28.5 and 22 cm.) across (2). Estimate $6,000 - $8,000. Price Realized $22,500
Provenance: Both: Frank Caro, New York, 1966 or earlier.
Three bronze lobed octogonal mirrors. Tang dynasty (618-907). photo Christie's Ltd 2011
One of barbed outline, the central field cast in relief with four immortals alternately riding cranes or horses, and with insects and clouds alternating in the lobed outer field, with blackish patina; the second cast with two ducks grasping tassels in their beaks standing on lotus stems flanking the knob, with a smaller duck below the knob and a lotus stem above; the third of barbed outline cast around the knob with alternating ducks and birds in flight separated by flower sprigs, with further sprigs and insects in the lobed outer field; together with a bronze circular mirror, Sui/early Tang dynasty, cast with four animals racing amidst grapevine in the center field and various animals and birds amidst grapevine in the outer field; 4¾, 5 1/8, 4¼ and 4 5/8 in. (12, 13, 11 and 11.7 cm.) across (4). Estimate $4,000 - $6,000 . Price Realized $13,750
Provenance: First mirror: J.T. Tai & Co., New York, 1966.
Second, third and fourth mirrors: Frank Caro, New York, 1966 or earlier.
Exhibited: First three mirrors: The Columbia University Exhibition of Art of the T'ang Dynasty and Its Antecedents, Low Memorial Library, March 1967, nos. 28, 24 and 30, respectively.
Two bronze circular mirrors. Eastern Han dynasty.(25-220). photo Christie's Ltd 2011
Both crisply cast, the first mirror with two groups of immortals, a tiger and a winged mythical beast, all separated by four nipples, within a hatchured band and an outer band of elongated dragons and scrolls; the other with Xiwangmu and Dong Wangfu, both with Daoist immortals and separated by four nipples and a horse-drawn chariot and a dragon, within a hatchured band and an outer band of dragons and clouds; 7 5/8 and 7 7/8 in. (19.5 and 20 cm.) diam., stand (2).. Estimate $4,000 - $6,000. Price Realised $13,750
Provenance: Both: J.T. Tai & Co., New York; the first acquired prior to 1977, the second 1966 or earlier.
Three bronze mirrors. Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). photo Christie's Ltd 2011
One crisply cast in high relief with an unusual mountain-like knob within a scalloped border similar to the outer border, between the two are four large pointed nipples surrounded by smaller nipples joined by scrolls; the largest with a large central knob encircled by six celestial creatures alternating with small bosses below bands of dogtooth and various animals flat-cast on the rim; the third of 'TLV' type, the central knob within a circle and then a square, the outer field with eight small nipples amidst T, L and V motifs, with narrow bands of dogtooth and zigzag pattern on the rim; 4¼, 5 and 4¼ in. (11, 12.7 and 11 cm.) diam. (3). Estimate $5,000 - $7,000. Ptice Realised $12,500
Provenance: First two mirrors: J.T. Tai & Co., New York, prior to 1977.
Third mirror: Frank Caro, New York, 1966 or earlier.
Three bronze circular mirrors. Eastern Han dynasty/Three Kingdoms period (25-265). photo Christie's Ltd 2011
One with striding lions alternating with seated celestial beings and attendants around the knob, encircled by an inscription and a hatchured border, below dogtooth and zigzag bands on the rim; one of small size, the knob encircled by four celestial beings and various birds and animals, within a band of characters set between half circles, below bands of characters and scrolls on the rim; the third crisply cast with Daoist immortals seated within hexagonal panels separated by dragons, within a narrow band of squares enclosing four-character inscriptions alternating with various animals, some in pairs, including elephants and winged horses, and a further band of Daoist immortals and various animals including six dragons pulling a chariot racing around the rim; 5 3/8, 3¾ and 5 5/8 in. (13.5, 9.5 and 14.3 cm.) diam. (3). Estimate $5,000 - $7,000. Ptice Realised $11,875
Provenance: First and second mirrors: Frank Caro, New York, acquired 1966 or earlier.
Third: J.T. Tai & Co., New York, acquired prior to 1977.
Two bronze circular mirrors. Three Kingdoms period (220-280). photo Christie's Ltd 2011
Both crisply cast, the first with a dragon and a tiger confronted above the large knob, within a hatchured border and a band of scroll on the rim; the second with two pairs of dragons and tigers confronted around the knob, encircled by an inscription and a hatchured border below dogtooth and zigzag bands on the rim; 5 1/8 and 4 7/8 in. (13 and 12.4 cm.) diam. (2). Estimate $3,000 - $5,000. Price Realised $3,000.
Provenance: Both: J.T. Tai & Co., New York, 1965.
Christie's. Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, 24 March 2011, New York, Rockefeller Plaza www.christies.com