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Name 1st century BC

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Image of 98.4.1 -

98.4.1 -

Woven decorative fringed border with mythological beings. Keeping in mind that some Paracas embroideries measured up to 85 feet long,this piece is a small fragment of the border of a much larger piece. It nevertheless contains a great deal of valuable information for understanding the Paracas textile tradition and the culture as a whole. The border strip shows a row of repeating anthropomorphic figures with outstretched limbs, suggesting that they are in flight. The color scheme is typical of Block Color embroideries (see Notes), with a predominance of rich green, red, yellow, and orange hues. The figures wear stylized masks revealing only a triangular chignon of hair that seems to proje

Image of 63.19 -

63.19 -

This Relief Mirror is an example of the TLV design. Around the central knob-like figure is a square, which represents the earthly realm. "T" shapes emerge from the sides of this square, representing the four celestial corners of the universe. Around the central square is a circle, which represents the heavenly realm, and inscribed on the inside of this circle, the "L" symbols represent the four terrestrial directions, and the "V" symbols represent the seasons. The zigzag pattern around the peripheral of the circle represents the mountain ranges the Chinese believed encircled the world. The zodiac figures that are discernable around the circle may have symbolic relationships with the card

Image of 63.21 -

63.21 -

This mirror is an example of a zodiac pattern used on the backs of Chinese hand mirrors. Zodiac symbols continued to be a popular design well into the Tang dynasty. The pattern on this mirror shows beautiful decorative shapes common to that era. The mirror's outer profile shows a floral shape instead of the circles seen in previous mirrors, and the floral motif is continued with floral designs throughout the object. Around the central boss are four images of mythical animals or zodiac figures, two of which could be identified as lions and two as horses or rams. Reference: Winter, Amy H., with Xiaoping Lin (eds.), "The Light of Infinite Wisdom: Asian Art from the Godwin-Ternbach Museum

Image of 63.22 -

63.22 -

BRONZE MIRRORS Before the invention of the modern mirror, many ancient civilizations utilized bronze mirrors which required frequent polishing of their smooth convex surfaces. Such mirrors were introduced to China in the 6th century BC, and were thought to ward off evil spirits by their reflection of light. They were a luxury item reserved for royalty, and later versions often included personalized inscriptions or seals. Although these mirrors are not Taoist items per se, many of them are significant in a Taoist context because they display cosmological diagrams which reveal the basic Taoist principles of the cardinal directions and their animal guardians, as well as other intellectual un

Image of 66.45 -

66.45 -

This relief mirror is an example of the TLV design. Many variations of this motif include only one or two of the letter-shaped symbols. This mirror only displays the "T" symbol. Around the central knob-like figure is a square, which represents the earthly realm. "T" shapes emerge from the sides of this square, representing the four celestial corners of the universe. The zigzag pattern around the peripheral of the circle represents the mountain ranges the Chinese believed encircled the world. The space between the earthly square and the heavenly circle is filled with a repeated quail image, which represents auspicious transformation, or a personal symbol of the owner. The eighth quail h

Image of 98.4.22 -

98.4.22 -

Paracas embroidered border decorated with feline "Oculate" being. Unlike the textiles of many other cultures, Paracas textiles are embroidered rather than painted. Embroidery is a superstructural technique, meaning that stitches are made on top of a plain ground cloth to form the textile's principal decoration. Paracas artisans excelled at a number of different embroidery techniques, including the Linear Style and Broad Line Style, whose names reveal their essential characteristics. But perhaps their most virtuoso achievement can be found in the Block Color style of embroidery. Block Color embroidery consists of outlining the central figure or design element and then filling in the inter