Iron mirror damascened dragon design with gold and silver, 1st - 3rd century Era

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Circular iron mirror damascened dragon design with gold, silver and gems

Name : Kingin sakugan shuryumon tekkyo
< Important cultural property of Japan >

 1st - 3rd century Era,

70% back side decorstion broken away

Find place : Danwara ancient tomb in Hita city, Ooita prefecture (Kyushu, Japan)

Diameter : 21.1 centimetres, Depth : 2.5 millimetres

The gold is 20-21karat. The ratio is gold 84%, Silver 5%, Mercury 11%
Silver is 970 /1000

About gems, Tokyo national museum didn't assay them yet.
There are red, blue, green and white color one.
Only can regard the blue color stone is the turquoise.This is the first case ever.
The restoration replica is decolated by jade, turquoise, quartz and ruby.

Main design : Few dragons are damascened by gold and gold wire. Horn and claws are made of silver.

Design of the rim : Gold vortex

Calligraphy :
4 Chinese characters are in the center. Japanese pronunciation is "cho gi shi son".
It's a felicitation of Qin and Han dynasty in China, to 'wish prosperity of posterity'

Other iron mirror with gold design :
Cao of The Three Kingdoms Wei (220-265 Era) had an iron mirror with gold damascene.(document only)
From Japan to Wei, in 239 Era, Himiko (a shaman queen of Yamataikoku) sent an embassy to pay tribute.


1933 "Kingin sakugan shuryumon tekkyo" was found by Otokichi Watanabe at Danwara ancient tomb in Hita city. The looking was a rusty iron mass, but he noticed it's an ancient mirror for the knob.
Then he presented it to elementary school, put in a coal scuttle with slaked limecoal to keep it dry.
1940- In the world war 2nd, the rusty iron mass was stolen from elementary school.
1960 Professor Sueji Umehara (Kyoto university) bought the mirror as "a rusty iron mass found at Hita" at an antique shop in Nara.
1962 At Tenri sankokan, Professor Yoshimi Shirakibara scraped it, and the gorgeous design with gold, silver and jewelries were appeared.
Confirmed it's the iron mirror found at Hita, for the slaked limecoal on its surface,
1964 Authorized as an important cultural property of Japan
Storaged in Tokyo national museum
2006 Kyushu national museum borrowed the mirror from Tokyo national museum
2007 1st Jan.-28th Jan, exhibited at Kyushu national museum
2009 20th Oct.-29th Nov, will be exhibited at Kyushu national museum