Ancient Roman Bronze Mirror with Decorative Metalwork

$928.01

A beautiful ancient Roman bronze mirror featuring a flat circular body, with a smooth front face – that has now been worn out due to age – yet still retains good reflectivity. The back features exquisite detailing including concentric circles and is centred by a six-petaled flower achieved through diagonal lines, with incised metal work. The outer circle is enriched with curved lines creating domes within which incised metalwork alongside lines create geometric figures. The remaining area is filled with bands which are executed vertically, diagonally and horizontally creating crisscross patterns. The rim alongside the second concentric circle remains unworked.

Please be aware,  the stand is for reference only.

Date: Circa 1st – 3rd Century AD
Condition: Repaired down the centre. Earthly encrustations to surface, scratches and markings on both sides.

SOLD

Bronze mirrors such as this were highly valued by individuals in the Roman Empire, on account of the importance given to appearance and grooming. They would have therefore been present in every aristocratic household, and were also buried with the deceased as grave goods. Mirrors were often displayed in public spaces, such as the baths, so that everyone had access to them. The bronze would have been buffered multiple times until the metal became reflective. The polished metal was believed to allow the gods to see into one’s soul and therefore to break a mirror was deemed very disrespectful. It was thought that the gods would bring bad luck and misfortune on those who were so careless, however, when mirrors were produced from glass, it became harder to prevent breakages.

Weight 147.7 g
Dimensions W 12.7 cm
Culture

Metal

Region

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