Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Collections / Ricerca / Etruscan collection: Felsinean phase

Arnoaldi mirror

The Etruscan mirrors are constituted by a bronze disc well polished on the side intended to reflect the image and often decorated with engravings on the back, or more rarely with reliefs, depicting scenes of toilet or mythological figures.

More info

Bologna’s Etruscan tombs brought to light about 25 mirrors, mostly without decoration, or with just foliage friezes. This item is an exception, found in an opulent female tomb partly pillaged in the past. The decoration is on both surfaces: the mirror side is etched with a palmette and two concentric bands; the back shows a warrior wearing a tunic and pointed shoes, with a skullcap helmet, playing the horn and flanked by two fantastic monsters. The handle is not original, but was replaced in ancient times, and would have comprised a tab to be inserted in a bone cylinder that is now lost. The mirror is of the Etruscan type, made in Bologna, then decorated by an artist from the Alpine-Veneto area, inspired by typical “Situla Art” illustrations.

Provenance: Bologna, Arnoaldi necropolis, tomb 104, known as “dello specchio Arnoaldi”
Datation: First half of 5th century BC
Material: bronze
Dimensions: h cm 15,7; d cm 14, 9; w gr. 316
Inventory #: 16291

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