The imagery appears to be the four elements: earth, air, water and fire. At the top of the mirror a woman is seated with a bird on her hand, surrounded by clouds. At the bottom of the mirror is another seated woman, with a trident in one hand and a fish in the other. Next to her is a fountain. These two images probably represent air and water. There are standing women on either long side of the mirror glass, with one holding sheaves of wheat, probably representing earth. The standing woman on the left presents a mystery, as it was not immediately obvious what object she was holding. The figure looks like it could be holding a torch to represent fire.

Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Mirror with Raised-Work Embroidery
mid- 17th–17th century
Beads, metallic purl, lace, silk, linen, wood, and mirror glass
26 1/2 × 22 5/8 in. (67.3 × 57.5 cm)
Credit Line

The Bayou Bend Collection, gift of Miss Ima Hogg

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number

[Ginsburg & Levy, New York]; purchased by Miss Ima Hogg, 1957; given to MFAH.