Friday, May 4, 2012

Celtic Mirrors

Few things delight me more than these lovely mirrors. Made between about 300 BCE and 100 CE, they were buried in the tombs of queens and other noble women, or else in treasure hordes. Most come from Britain, a few from the nearby parts of France and the Netherlands. They are made of bronze or other copper alloys. Their designs are one of the glories of Celtic art, variations on the same swirling, spiral themes. The diameter of these examples varies between 15 and 30 centimeters (6 inches and 1 foot). Above is the smaller Dordrecht mirror, from the Netherlands.

The larger Dordrecht mirror.

The Desborough Mirror, from Northamptonshire, probably the most famous.

The Oxfordshire Mirror.

The Old Warden Mirror, from Bedfordshire.

The Shillington Mirror, found by a metal detectorist on a farm in Bedfordshire.

The Trelan Bahow Mirror, from a burial in western Cornwall.

The Mayer Mirror, now in Liverpool. It was donated to the museum by an antiquary in 1867, and no information survives about where it came from or how it came to be found. Most of these pictures are from this web site, which has information on all of these mirrors and other fragmentary examples.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just for your information the Friends Of The Oxfordshire Museum are trying to purchase this mirror for public display to prevent it being sold to a private overseas buyer. For more information please visit