Bronze mirror with a support in the form of a draped woman
mid-5th century B.C.
H. 12 5/8", Diameter 5 3/8"
Gift of the family of Thomas A. Spears, in his memory, 2011
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 157
The ancient Greeks used mirrors that were held in the hand or stood independently. This free-standing example of a well established type consists of a base, a supporting figure, and the mirror disk embellished with additional figures around its periphery. The woman, who is probably mortal, wears a woolen garment, a peplos. Above her fly two personifications of love, erotes; originally hounds and hares would have coursed around the disk and a sphinx or siren would have perched on top. The variety of component parts are integrated into a whole that is both balanced and dynamic.
[Prior to 1990, reportedly with Heidi Vollmoeller, Galerie Heidi Vollmoeller, Zurich, Switzerland]; purchased by Athanasios Ghertsos, Greek Consul in Zurich, from Galerie Heidi Vollmoeller; ca. 1990, purchased by Frieda Tchacos Nussberger from Athanasios Ghertsos; [ca. 1990-1993, with Frieda Tchacos Nussberger, Gallerie Nefer, Zurich]; 1993, purchased by Thomas A. and Colette Spears from Frieda Tchacos Nussberger; 1993-2011, collection of Thomas A. and Colette Spears, New York; from 1999, on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art; acquired in 2011, gift of the family of Thomas A. Spears.
Hemingway, Seán Dr. and Joan R. Mertens. 2012. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2010-2012." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 70(2): p. 10.