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Tripartite Folding Mirror

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2nd half of the 4th century B.C.probably Syracuse (Sicily)silverH 27 cm; D 17,6

This unique tripartite folding mirror did not only serve cosmetic purposes: it was imbued with the power to capture and preserve the soul of the beholder. Initially the handle had been crafted out of bone, ivory or wood. The actual mirror was placed between two plates embellished with figures. One of them depicts the Syracusean naiad Arethusa in a relief-like manner on the outside, and on the inside the Greek god of love, Eros, with a bird. The other one is decorated with a frieze that depicts a lion, dog, bull, panther and griffin. It shows a nude hero battling with a griffin.