Tang Mirror with Winged Woman (Lasa), 399-200 BCE
Italy, Cerveteri
Copper alloy
7 3/8 × 6 ½ × 5/8 in. (18.7 × 16.5 × 1.6 cm)
3-D Object/Sculpture
CA 6557

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Bronze mirrors were popular in Etruscan culture and particularly common as funerary offerings. This example is a circular tang mirror, named after the metal shank, or tang (now broken from the original object), which would have attached the mirror to the separately made handle. Unlike another Etruscan mirror in the collection (1974-014 DJ), which was cast in one piece, this mirror had its handle riveted to it, possibly in another material. While the handle is now lost, three rivets are identifiable. 

The engraved subject matter on the reverse of the object reinforces its funerary function. It features a single female figure with wings known as a Lasa. Lasa can refer to a divine goddess associated with the Etruscan goddess Turan (equivalent of Aphrodite or Venus, the goddess of love) or a group of divine guardian figures that protected the dead, typically female. For both, the wings distinguish them from mortal women. The figure on this mirror wears a diadem (crown), earrings and necklace, and shoes, and carries an oil vessel (alabatron). Mirrors that depict Lasas (plural Lasae) are identified as the Lasa Group, and this particular mirror is attributed to an unspecified artist known to scholars as the Master of the Seno Tondo (Round Breast). The archaeological provenience (findspot) of this mirror is unknown, but the dealer’s documents state it came from Cerveteri, Italy. The subject matter and style of the imagery, as well as the form of the mirror, is consistent with the site.