Roman Bronze Hand Mirror

  • This bronze mirror dates to approximately the 1st century CE
  • Bronze mirrors were found in aristocratic Roman households, and almost exclusively used by women
  • The handle is a stylized olive branch, a symbol of peace and plenty to the Romans
  • The rarity and historic value of this item is truly immense
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-4090

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Dating approximately to the 1st century CE, this bronze hand mirror features a sizable disk that was polished to a reflective shine, allowing the viewer to gaze at their reflection without requiring glass. The ensuing centuries have lent this marvelous mirror a beautiful patina. It has a slender handle with a stylized olive branch, a symbol of peace and plenty to the Romans, and also includes a wooden display stand.

While the earliest mirrors were fashioned from polished stone as early as 4000 B.C., it wasn't until the 1st century CE that the Romans introduced a very rudimentary mirror made of ancient glass. The earliest glass mirrors were only about three inches in diameter and mirror manufactured from metal was still preferable by many people due to the fact that glass mirrors did not have a very good reflection. Bronze mirrors were found in aristocratic Roman households and almost exclusively used by women. The rarity and historic value of this item is truly immense.

Mirror: 4 1/2" wide x 7 7/8" deep x 3/8" high
Base: 1 3/4" high x 1 3/4" wide x 3/4" high

References:
Trentinella, Rosemarie. “Roman Glass: Essay: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.”
Roman Bronze Hand Mirror
Type: Other
Depth: 7.88 Inches
Width: 4.13 Inches
Height: 0.38 Inches

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