Bronze mirror

Ancient Etruria (Italy), possibly late 6th century BC

Purchased from G. F. Lawrence in 1897; 1897.61.3Purchased from G. F. Lawrence in 1897; 1897.61.3Egyptian mirrors were used by both sexes but Etruscan mirrors were associated with women. The distinctive yellow bronze mirrors (the result of a high-tin, low-lead alloy) were often decorated on the back with scenes from daily life. This example, showing four figures surrounded by a foliage border, is typical of engraved mirrors dating from period c. 500–450 BC. After this date, relief decoration became more popular. The handle would have been made of wood or bone.

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