Mirror with TLV Design (Translation)
“尚方作鏡”銅鏡 西漢 (Primary Title)
Mirror (Former Title)

Unknown (Artist)

2nd century BC
Bronze with silver overlay
Overall: 6 1/4 in. (15.88 cm)
Similar to the marks on the Liubo game board, the geometric shapes of the letters T, L, and V, on the backs of Han-dynasty mirrors, as cast in this example, have evoked some debate among scholars. Some believe the design is simply decorative or metaphoric, and others think it resembled a portable Liubo game board. One such mirror dating to the early 1st century has provided a clue with its inscription, which reads “Cast with a Liubo board pattern to dispel misfortune,” suggesting that the Liubo pattern on mirrors may have served a ritual purpose.
Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD)
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund
"Symbols of Faith," VMFA Artmobile, December 1976 - January 1979
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.