The term caryatid from classical architecture refers to the female figure serving as a support.
Named for their figured handles, Greek caryatid mirrors may derive from similar types created in ancient Egypt many centuries earlier (like CMA 1983.196). Greek caryatid handles typically take the form of a beautiful, draped woman like this one, whether mortal or divine (perhaps the love goddess Aphrodite). Often, she holds a small offering, here a flower. The small, winged women (Nikai) flanking her are unusual among such mirrors, which often feature Erotes in this position. In antiquity, the unadorned disk would have been highly polished and reflective, and the figure would have stood on an integrated base.
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