What Is It? # 11

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This is a really old, bronze, handheld Chinese mirror. This is the decorated backside. The two wetland birds are either cranes or herons. They have different symbolic meanings.

The front is highly polished and produces a reasonable reflection. I don’t know how old it is because the Chinese started making them about 2000 BC. They started to export them to Japan about 300 BC.

They flooded the Japanese market and hurt Japanese artisans and foundries so in about 800 AD the Japanese banned imports.

In 1835, a German chemist invented the mercury coated glass mirror. After that, metal reflector mirrors were no longer produced in China.

 

WHAT IS IT?

(Editor’s note: Palisades resident Howard Yonet has an interesting collection of curios from around the world and with his permission, Circling the News is publishing one a week. About the collector: Dr. Howard Yonet was born in Brooklyn in 1934 and attended Brooklyn College. He went to Baylor Medical School and then returned to do an internship at Bellevue Hospital. Yonet completed his residency at the Manhattan V.A. and the Montefiore Hospital. During this time he went skiing in Vermont and the Catskills, and while traveling found barns filled with early American pieces. This led to his interest in American Antiques.

In 1965, he married Daniele, who was originally from Nancy, France. During the Vietnam War, Yonet was drafted as a medical officer and stationed in Landstuhl, Germany (1966-1969). This was close to the French border, which meant he and Daniele and could visit her family.

While abroad, the Yonets took weekend trips through France and Italy, purchasing many interesting pieces at flea markets.

The family settled in Pacific Palisades in 1970 and Yonet practiced general radiology until 2006. He continued to acquire antiques and collectables at estate and garage sales and the Salvation Army Store. He also enjoyed looking for collectibles while traveling in Montana, Idaho, Colorado and Massachusetts. Daniele’s family helped add to his collection.)

 

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