Cosmetic Case and Mirror Stand, early 17th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

Huanghuali hardwoodexpand_more

Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more  94.8a-r

Distinguished by its imposing size, this spectacular mirror stand demonstrates the decorative tradition of Ming-style furniture. The back simulates a five-panel screen of the type used as the backdrop for thrones. The panels each have dragon-head terminals and their openwork carving is decorated with sinuous dragons and phoenixes amid clouds. The drawers are embellished with auspicious flowers and phoenixes while the railing posts terminate in dragons and lotus blossoms. A round mirror would have been supported on the s-shaped easel whose central openwork panel displays a four-clawed, horned dragon. The five deep drawers would have provided ample storage for hairpins, combs, and cosmetics. The extensive use of dragons and phoenixes—imperial imagery— indicate that this dressing table cabinet once belonged to a woman of the royal household.



Cosmetic Case and Mirror Stand (#221)
Cosmetic Case and Mirror Stand
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.