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Mirror

  • Place of origin:

    Mughal empire (made)

  • Date:

    18th century (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Greyish green nephrite jade, glass, gold and ruby. Fashioned using a variety of techniques, often using abrasives and abrasive-charged tools.

  • Museum number:

    271-1874

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The frame of this mirror made within the Mughal empire, probably in the 18th century, has been expertly fashioned from a single piece of dark green nephrite jade. Nephrite is a hard and durable material that requires patience and skill to work successfully. An object such as this would have been made for a wealthy or important person or someone close to them.

Physical description

A circular glass mirror set into a greyish green nephrite jade frame.
The circular frame has a pierced border that has been carved in relief on both faces as repeating groups of three stylised leaves. At the top and bottom are a pair of pierced and carved scrolled leaves that run to either side of a central flat leaf with a multi-petalled flower bud pointing outwards. On either side there is a protrusion pierced and carved as a single scrolled leaf, one of which has been damaged with a scroll missing.
On the back face, it is solid with the central disc being carved in low relief with a flower and leaf design within a slightly raised, narrow, circular border.
On the front face, encircling the steeply bevelled mirror, there is a double band of gold within which were once set sixty ruby cabochons - but one is now missing.
The reflective surface of the mirror shows signs of deterioration.

Place of Origin

Mughal empire (made)

Date

18th century (made)

Materials and Techniques

Greyish green nephrite jade, glass, gold and ruby. Fashioned using a variety of techniques, often using abrasives and abrasive-charged tools.

Dimensions

Length: 131.8 mm, Width: 109.1 mm, Thickness: 12.9 mm, Diameter: 78.1 to 78.5 mm, Diameter: 65.0 to 65.5 mm

Object history note

In 1874, this mirror was bought by The South Kensington Museum (later renamed The Victoria & Albert Museum) from the Webb Collection for the sum of £15-0-0

Descriptive line

Circular glass mirror in frame, greyish green nephrite jade, inset rubies in gold, Mughal empire

Materials

Nephrite; Reflective glass; Gold; Ruby

Categories

Gemstones; Hardstone; Personal accessories

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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