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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Part of a Box Mirror
Other Titles
Alternate Title: Mirror
Work Type
mid 4th century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World
Classical period, Late
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Copper alloy
Cast, lost-wax process
15.7 x 0.5 cm (6 3/16 x 3/16 in.)
Technical Details

Technical Observations: The patina on the mirror side is predominantly light green and tan with some darker greenish black near one edge. On the reverse, the patina is also a mottled light green with some brown areas where the exposed metal has oxidized. The dendritic structure that is characteristic of cast metal is very visible in those sections. There are also brown burial deposits. A damaged area at the center of the turned lines on the interior shows the remains of lead solder, which is evidence of an attachment.

This element is unconnected to the smaller mirror components of 1895.241.A, 1895.241.B, 1895.241.C, 1895.241.D, and 1895.241.G. It was cast by the lost-wax process, and the decorative bands were refinished in the metal. Chisel marks going in a variety of directions are visible within the central diameter (2.0 cm) of the reverse side, as if to remove excess material. There is a relatively thin layer of corrosion. Most of the pieces assembled under 1895.241 have at least a few small crystalline black growths of copper sulfide that result from their post-excavation storage conditions.

Carol Snow and Francesca G. Bewer (submitted 2002, updated 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

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Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
The reflecting side of this mirror disc is flat. It would have been part of a box mirror (Klappspiegel). Its outer edge is marked by a narrow zone bound by two low ridges. The vertical edge, slanting inward, is slightly concave. The underside bears a central circle surrounded by a shallow concave channel that is bordered by delicate vertical ridges. This central feature is then surrounded by a convex zone, enclosed within two low ridges, slightly wider than the ones around the center.

David G. Mitten

Subjects and Contexts

  • Ancient Bronzes

Related Works

Verification Level

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