Warring States period mirror with shan design

I was curious about mirrors in Chinese culture, having heard that they are valued and important, and discovered that they not only go back to ancient times, but that the early bronze mirrors frequently featured a symbol much like today’s Chinese character for “mountain” – shan or 山. (If you only see a question mark, your computer doesn’t have Chinese character sets installed. The shan character is a bit like an E turned onto its long side.) I was pleased, because that character is Berkshire Publishing’s company logo.

We took it from our company name in Chinese: 宝库山. This means “treasure mountain library” and sounds a bit like the word Berkshire. You can see the characters in our logos and banner, and here’s a mirror from the Sackler Gallery at Harvard. Read more here. The mirror above comes from the Warring States period, 5th-3rd century BC.

 

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