Cypriot bronze mirror with sphinx decoration, ex. Kolokasides




A bronze mirror with a round body and an attachment tang ending in a rounded capital form where it joins the disc. The back of the mirror is engraved quite crudely with an upside-down figure of a seated winged sphinx wearing a polos.
The patination over the decoration shows that the sphinx was engraved in antiquity but it was clearly added by an amateur artist after the mirror had been manufactured. Sphinxes feature prominently in Cypriot funerary sculpture and it may be that this mirror was therefore adapted as a poignant funerary gift to its deceased former owner.

Cyprus, c. 600-300 BC

14 x 10.4 cms

The handle is lost, otherwise intact

Ex. private collection, Dorset, UK; acquired 1960’s. Accompanied by a photocopy of a list issued by P. Kolokasides (licensed antiquities dealer in Nicosia, Cyprus, active mostly in the 1960’s) which shows a sketch of the mirror and dating it 100BC-100AD.