Crisp Japanese gilt bronze miniature mirror, marked
An octagonal miniature Japanese bronze, bell metal mirror. Relief decoration of phoenix, kirin, pheasants and other birds among cloud wisps and floral decoration. The mirror forms one of the three Imperial regalia of Japan (the other two being the sword and magatama bead.) A small four character mark appears along the edge (have been told it is an Imperial Japanese mint mark but have not confirmed this.) Probably a presentation medal or token of appreciation. Diameter from flat edges 2 5/8" (6.67cm), from points 2 13/16" (7.14cm). A clear bell tone is heard when struck. Condition is very good with full detail of decoration but with distressed gilding (faint traces remaining on the front) and one deeper scratch (among other scratching) to the flat side of the mirror (perhaps noticeable because of the more extensive remaining gilt on that side.) Our camera and lighting apparently did not pick up on the traces of gilt. Note that while this is in the form of a traditional mirror, it was never intended as a functional mirror. The first enlarged view approximates actual size. The remaining enlarged views are larger than actual size. Seems to be mid 20th century.