BRONZE MIRROR WITH FLORAL SCROLLS AND A CARTOUCHE WITH THE INSCRIPTION `MADE IN GORYEO’, GORYEO KINGDOM (918-1392), DIAM. 14.6CM, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF KOREA, SEOUL – TAASA Review September 2011
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This article was originally found in the September 2011 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 20, Issue 3, Page 12).
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Foreign mirrors, which entered the peninsula through trade and tributary relations, also had a strong influence on Goryeo mirror production, as craftspeople incorporated and adapted earlier and contemporary Chinese and to a lesser extent Japanese mirror designs to suit local taste and traditions.
In fact, many of the motifs which appear on Goryeo mirrors, such as the dragon, phoenix, and peony were imported from the mainland over several decades and were gradually included into the Korean iconographical scheme as demonstrated by the fact that many mirrors with these decorations no longer closely resemble their foreign prototypes and instead can be said to be local variations of them. Some of the largest mirrors that were made during this time feature a central pattern of two dragons chasing flaming pearls.
Traditionally the use of dragon motifs was reserved for the royal family, since in accordance with Chinese custom, it denoted power and authority...