Mirror
Female burial, Birdlip

1st . BCE

length 38.7cm

Bronze

Gloucestershire City Museum, Gloucestershire

The Birdlip mirror exhibits characteristics common to many other example such as the well known Desborough mirror.  The design on the back of the bronze mirror is etched in to the metal. The pattern is composed of interlocking triskeles which end in groups of two or three flourishes.  Repetition and apposition are emphasized by light and dark patches of decoration created by cross-hatching. The technique is best described as žcross-hatching in a basket patternÓ because the etched marks are places at right angles to one another, echoing the pattern of basketry.  The handle of the mirror consists of a series of interlocking loops, the final loop, encloses another smaller circle of metal.  Red enamel dots can be found on this circle, as well as on the top of the handle, where the handle meets the body of the mirror.  Six enamel dots are located within a torque-shaped design that turns in upon itself.  This area could be defined as a pelta, or a small mushroom shape, similar in form to the Egyptian lotus bud.  The face of the mirror would be highly polished, to enhance the reflective qualities of the metal.

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