Mirror, Seljuq period (1040–1194), 12th–13th century
Northwestern Iran or Turkey
Bronze, cast and chased; Diam. 8 11/16 in. (22 cm), W. 3/8 in. (1 cm)
Gift of Florence E. and Horace L. Mayer, 1978 (1978.348.2)
A fantastic narrative scene in relief covers the circular frame of this bronze mirror. Protected by a split palm tree at the top of the mirror, a cross-legged enthroned figure is flanked by two birds in profile. On the right and left, twelve demons (six on each side) in various half-human, half-animal shapes run toward the ruler. At the bottom of the circular frame, in line with the enthroned ruler, a small figure (perhaps the ruler's protector) holds two mythological winged dogs. The talismanic function of the mirror is understood once it is turned and one sees the protective Qur'anic Throne verse (2:255) engraved on the rim.