Bronze mirror with a support in the form of a draped woman

Period: Classical

Date: mid-5th century B.C.

Culture: Greek

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: H. 12 5/8", Diameter 5 3/8"

Classification: Bronzes

Credit Line: Gift of the family of Thomas A. Spears, in his memory, 2011

Accession Number: 2011.582


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.