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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Part of a Box Mirror
Other Titles
Alternate Title: Disc of a Box Mirror (Klappspeigal)
Work Type
4th-3rd century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Cyprus
Classical period, Late, to Hellenistic
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Leaded bronze
Cast, lost-wax process
14.8 cm (5 13/16 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: XRF data from Tracer
Alloy: Leaded Bronze
Alloying Elements: copper, tin, lead
Other Elements: zinc, iron, arsenic
K. Eremin, January 2014

Technical Observations: The patina is greenish brown. The surface is pitted and porous, and it appears to have been stripped and artificially repatinated. There have been small losses to the edges, and the surface is poorly preserved. The mirror was made by casting, and the circular designs were engraved while turning.

Carol Snow (submitted 2002)

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Transfer from the Department of the Classics, Harvard University, G. G. Van Rensselaer Fund
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
This disc is an element of a hinged box mirror, also known as a Klappspiegel (1). A box mirror consisted of two discs that stacked together, joined by a hinge. One disc functioned as the mirror, the other as the protective cover. The flat exterior side is plain and smooth; the only detail is the beveled edge. The convex bottom is decorated with raised and incised bands of concentric circles. The edge of the disc is featureless, and the surface in this area is somewhat rough.


1. Compare L. P. di Cesnola, A Descriptive Atlas of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriote Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 3 (Boston, 1903) pl. 60.2. The Harvard mirror is known to have been part of the Cesnola collection. See also J. W. Hayes, Greek, Roman, and Related Metalware in the Royal Ontario Museum: A Catalogue (Toronto, 1984) 188-93, nos. 316-23; and B. Borell, Statuetten, Gefässe und andere Gegenstände aus Metall, Katalog der Sammlung antiker Kleinkunst des Archäologischen Instituts der Universität Heidelberg 3.1 (Mainz, 1989) 127-28, no. 139, pl. 52.

Lisa M. Anderson

Subjects and Contexts

  • Ancient Bronzes

Related Works

Verification Level

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