French / Mirror Back with Falconing Party / 1350-1375French
Mirror Back with Falconing Party

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Creator Nationality: European; French
Creator Name-CRT: French
Title: Mirror Back with Falconing Party
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1350
Creation End Date: 1375
Creation Date: 1350-1375
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Ivories
Materials and Techniques: Elephant ivory
Dimensions: H. 4 5/16 in. (11 cm), Diam. 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 41.100.160
Credit Line: Gift of George Blumenthal, 1941

Ivory mirror cases were usually carved in pairs to protect a polished metal disk within, which was opened by means of a bayonette mechanism. Often mentioned in inventories and wills, few pairs survive and none with its protective leather case. As forerunners of the modern compact, they were destined primarily for aristocratic owners. Carved in Paris in the middle of the fourteenth century, this example depicts men and ladies in a forest as they hunt with falcons. The link between the sport of falconry and courtly love was a frequent subject in medieval literature, so the playful imagery on the mirror back can also be read as a hunt for love.

AMICA ID: MMA_.41.100.160
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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