Charming caryatid-type mirror
Magna Graecia, late 6th century BC
height cm 38,5 (15”)
Characterized by a Caryatid grip, standing on a pedestal, wearing the Ionic chiton and peplos hold up by the left hand, on the right hand a shielded flower stem; two lions springing from her shoulders help support the mirror disk, ornate with incised decoration: stylized patterns and a fighting scene with a centaur on the rear; a rounded sphynx on the top.
This outstanding figure of Caryatid, used as mirror handle, is common in the South Italian bronze production, as attested in comparisons from Croton workshop. The iconography of centaur is also attested in the central panel of a large mosaic of Hadrian’s villa, in which the mythological creature is depicted killing a feline.
For the Caryatid iconography:
N. Clark 2015: Aphrodite and Venus in myth and mimesis, Cambridge, 2015.
S. M. Cyrino 2010: “Aphrodite”, in Gods and heroes of the ancient world (ed. by) Susan Deacy, London , New York, 2010.
H. E. Roberts 1998: “Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography: Themes Depicted”, in Works of Art, Chicago, 1998.
J. Tanner 2006: The invention of art history in Ancient Greece: religion, society and artistic rationalization, Cambridge, 2006.
Property of a gentleman from New York since 1974 (with Affidavit of Ownership).
With Analysis Report of Re.S.Artes (R 142747A): "The study of the sample indicates that the metal is naturally weathered. The results concord to the hypothesis of an object from the 6th century BC.