(French, Paris, 14th century)
Mirror Back with Scenes of Jousting
4.75 x 4.75 x 0.38 in
12.07 x 12.07 x 0.95 cm
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
Used for holding a mirror on its reverse, this case shows a jousting scene between two sets of knights— one with bird-shaped plumes on their helmets and the other wielding rose-decorated shields. Nine women stand on the battlements of the castle, watching the scene below, as trumpeters blow their horns in the trees. Four fantastic beasts decorate the edges of the mirror case. Jousting was a popular event during courtship because it allowed knights to display their prowess as they fought in honor of their lady. A mirror case like this one would have likely been given by a man to his future bride as a courtship present.