Medieval mirror case

Contributed by Perth Museum and Art Gallery

Pewter mirror case.  Copyright Perth Museum & Art Gallery, Perth & Kinross Council, Scotland.

Only two other examples are known, one from London, the other from Regensburg, Germany.The imagery on the mirror case depicts elements of the highly popular medieval romance of Tristram and Iseult focussing on the episode of the lovers tryst beneath a tree. King Mark, Tristram and Iseult are named across the middle portions of the mirror case and the circumference carries a garbled inscription in illiterate Anglo-Norman wishing joy to the bearer. It retains traces of the putty used to hold the glass mirror (long since perished) in place. A mass-produced, cheap piece of jewellery, it demonstrates the widespread appeal of romance culture. When it was discovered in 1921 it was found crumpled up as though it had been deliberately disposed of ... and the owner had been disappointed.

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It was found in 1921.


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