Size 10,5 x 10,5 cm
Glass mirror plate diemeter 9 cm
Source: copy of archeological finding, the British Museum
Material: eco-bone, glass mirror
This particular case was made by the one which is in the collection of the British Museum. The outer surface is depicted scene of love in the garden. We can see central figures of man who holds out the heart to woman. On the left side we can see hooded figure of other man siting apart, who could be rejected lover. At the right side there are building of a castle or a gothical cathidral. Above central figures we see two cupids holding in hands a shield with the herat as coat of arm. This scene enclosed with quatrefoil frame with gothic patterns and roses. Four trefoil leaves attachet from the rim of the case.
During the Middle Ages, mirrors were not seen as commonplace items. Instead, they were an indication of status. Early on, mirror cases were seen as works of art-- not just a mean of seeing one’s reflection. The mirror within the case was made of glass and big enough to see one’s face. Mirror cases appeared in various forms and materials, including ivory, bronze, bone and copper alloys. Ivory, bronze and bone mirror cases in particular were suited for the wealthy, while plain metal or alloy mirror cases were more accessible to the middle class. Women were primarily the ones who owned mirror cases. Usually, they were put on display on one’s person. Women would hang them from their belt or put them in their purses. Often the purses would then hang from the belt. So, mirror cases were seen as an accessory and were proudly displayed as a part of a woman’s outfit and as a mark of status.
Typically, the outer surfaces of mirror cases contained decoration, which consisted of religious symbols, depictions of acts of knightly heroism, romantic figures, and scenes of courtly love. Ivory and bone cases had such imagery carved into them, while copper alloy cases were engraved with punch marks to create decoration. The decorations on mirror cases held great significance and purpose. They could, for example, be connected to the notion of love. Often times when a woman got engaged, she would give a gift to her fiancé or lover. Mirror cases were commonly something wealthy women were able to gift to their fiancés or lovers. Another indication of the value and significance of mirror cases is how often they were included in wills and passed down from one generation to the next. (source)