This mirror case was used by important Igbo women who carried mirrors housed in frames carved by local artists as display objects.
When European mirrors were introduced into Nigeria in the late 19th century, they were considered luxury goods reserved for the royals. Eventually, mirrors became more accessible but remained expensive trade items that were valued as prestigious wedding presents. The need for mirror frames or cases resulted in a new art form.
With a function neither ritual nor ceremonial, nor related to worship or hospitality, this was used as an aid to personal grooming.
Held in hand, it allow us to peek into the intimate lives of Igbo women in Nigeria between the 1930 and 50s.
There are a few great examples of them in Aniakor and Cole’s book, 1984, entitled: Igbo arts; Community and Cosmos.
Ex. Leonard Kahan Gallery, New York, and Ex. Christopher and Genevieve McConnell collection.
Height: 12 1/4" x Width: 5 1/2" x Depth: 2 7/8" - Height on its 6" x 3 1/4" stand/base is 13 1/4".