the Naiad Convex Mirror

In All, Mirrors by Mark Evans

The Naiad convex mirror is composed of a deep frame that has been gilded with silver metal leaf and lined with a glittering layer of Venetian glass shards.  The “rays” of this mirror are quartz crystal points.

The Naiad mirror is around 21 inches in diameter and will be sent to my showroom Ainsworth-Noah in Atlanta.

Jewelry for walls!

The water-clear quartz known as rock crystal was believed by the ancient Greeks to be permanently frozen water. Magicians through the centuries used it as crystal balls to contemplate the future.  Given that, I’ve named this mirror after the Greek Naiads.

Naiads are a type of female spirit, or nymph, presiding over fountains, wells, springs, streams, brooks and other bodies of fresh water.

They are distinct from river gods, who embodied rivers, and the very ancient spirits that inhabited the still waters of marshes, ponds and lagoon-lakes.

Naiads were often the object of archaic local cults, worshipped as essential to humans. Boys and girls at coming-of-age ceremonies dedicated their childish locks to the local naiad of the spring. In places like Lerna their waters’ ritual cleansings were credited with magical medical properties. Animals were ritually drowned  there. Oracles might be situated by ancient springs.

A  reclining naiad with a drinking horn.  Roman fresco,30-50AD.  From the Villa at Campo Varano, Stabiae, Italy

Hylas and the Water Nymphs by J. W. Waterhouse, 1896

Hylas was the servant and lover of the mythic Hercules.  Hylas was abducted by the water nymphs of the spring of Pegae Mysia.  He vanished into the water much to Hercules’ sorrow.

Daphne and Apollo by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1622-1625.  It is housed in the Galleria Borghese, Rome.

Apollo, fated by Cupid’s love-exciting arrow, sees Daphne, the maiden daughter of Peneus, a river god, he is filled with wonder at her beauty and consumed by desire. But Daphne has been fated by Cupid’s love-repelling arrow and denies the love of men. As the Naiad flees he relentlessly chases her—boasting, pleading, and promising everything. When her strength is finally spent she prays to her father Peneus:

“Destroy the beauty that has injured me, or change the body that destroys my life.”

Before her prayer was ended, torpor seized on all her body, and a thin bark closed around her gentle bosom, and her hair became as moving leaves; her arms were changed to waving branches, and her active feet as clinging roots were fastened to the ground—her face was hidden with encircling leaves.

Yet Apollo lost none of his passion for Daphne:

Even like this Apollo loved her and, placing his hand against the trunk, he felt her heart still quivering under the new bark. He clasped the branches as if they were parts of human arms, and kissed the wood. But even the wood shrank from his kisses, and the god said:

“Since you cannot be my bride, you must be my tree! Laurel, with you my hair will be wreathed, with you my lyre, with you my quiver. You will go with the Roman generals when joyful voices acclaim their triumph, and the Capitol witnesses their long processions. You will stand outside Augustus’s doorposts, a faithful guardian, and keep watch over the crown of oak between them. And just as my head with its uncropped hair is always young, so you also will wear the beauty of undying leaves.”

Paean had done: the laurel bowed her newly made branches, and seemed to shake her leafy crown, like a head giving consent

 

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