Trapani Mirror

Image credit: Compton Verney

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Due to its geographical position and rich natural resources, Trapani, on the coast of Sicily, was a leading centre in coral crafts. In 1628 the guild of the coral-workers, known in Italian as Arte dei Corallari, was established in Trapani and later spread to other Mediterranean centres. Coral was considered a very precious and rare commodity due to how difficulty it was to extract. It was esteemed both for its colour and unusual texture, and it was believed to have the power to ward off the evil. Coral was originally used as entire 'coral trees', usually mounted on a base. However, from the late sixteenth century onwards sections of coral were used separately as decorative elements on works of art, as seen in this frame. The frame stands out for its geometrical structure and highly elaborate decoration.

Compton Verney

Compton Verney


Trapani Mirror




golden copper, silver, coral & mother-of-pearl


H 76 x W (?) x D (?) cm

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Compton Verney

Compton Verney, Warwickshire CV35 9HZ England

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