Japanese Art:Metalwork

Japanese Edo Bronze Kagami Mirror Tortoise Crane Tenka Mark
item#: 1403915
price: $175.00
Well cast Japanese Edo period round-form bronze kagami (mirror) decorated in relief with a motif of cranes among pines. The perforated central boss, which is designed to hold a tassel, is in the form of a minogame (tortoise). Two cranes reach toward each other with their beaks to kiss the head of the tortoise. Marked "Tenka" (all under Heaven) at the lower right. This decorative motif has been attributed to the Momoyama period (16th/17th century). We are unsure of the specific dating, but are confident it dates no later than the Edo period (pre-1868). 4 3/4" diameter x 9/16" high. Very good overall condition with typical wear from use. For centuries, mirrors were customarily given to temples and shrines as offerings to deities. According to Merrily Baird in "Symbols of Japan: Thematic Motifs in Art and Design,” the Chinese style round mirrors remained in use, particularly among men, through the Edo period and were replaced thereafter by mirrors with long rectangular handles (pages 264-265). Please note that the actual color of the mirror is more bronze and less golden than the images suggest.

Japanese Edo Bronze Kagami Mirror Tortoise Crane Tenka Mark