Incorrect Username, Email, or Password
This object does not yet have a description.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Mirror Handle
Work Type
mirror handle
mid 4th century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World
Classical period, Late
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Copper alloy
Cast, lost-wax process
5.3 x 4.2 x 0.8 cm (2 1/16 x 1 5/8 x 5/16 in.)
Technical Details

Technical Observations: The surface of the straight component is less encrusted with corrosion products than the loop section, but the overall coloration of the patina is similar over the two sections: mostly green with some tan accretions over cupritic reddish brown that shows through in the few worn areas. Most of the pieces assembled under 1895.241 have at least a few small crystalline black growths of copper sulfide that result from post-excavation storage conditions.

1895.241.G is a handle cast in two pieces. The larger loop part with its simple faceted shape may have been cast in a piece mold. Its slight asymmetry may result from distortion necessary to fit it into the central horizontal rod. The straight component may also have been cast in a piece mold but would have been reworked in the metal to enhance the decorative features. One side of this element is flattened—no doubt in the area that would have served to mount the handle to an object. It is not clear whether the accretion on one part of this area is the remains of a solder-like material. There is no indication that this handle was originally combined with the other parts of 1895.241.

Francesca G. Bewer (submitted 2012)

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Professor C.E. Norton and Richard Norton
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.


Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
This rotating handle’s ends are attached to a central horizontal rod, which fits through a central reel-like perforated cover. The cover consists of two convex elements framing a fin-like reel. The handle itself bends symmetrically back inward, then ends in an oval loop. This handle probably served for hanging a box mirror and would have been placed one hundred eighty degrees opposite the hinge that connected the two sections of mirror.
David G. Mitten

Subjects and Contexts

  • Ancient Bronzes

Related Works

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at