The Sirens are demigodesses from Greek mythology with the body of a bird and the head of a woman. Sirens seduced their listeners with chants or erotic sounds that could not be resisted by men. According to some stories the sirens were young women who constantly asked for attention, but did not want to lose their virginity. That would be the reason why Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and sexuality, turned them into birds. Sirens would be the daughters of the sea god Phorcys or of the river god Acheloüs and Sterope. According to Roman authors, they lived on three small rocky islands between Sorrento and Capri.
In the oldest legends there were two sirens (among others with Homer), more recent writers counted three and even more recent writers have added more. Aglaope (beautiful face), Aglaophonos (beautiful voice), Leucosia (being white), Ligeia (shrill), Molpe (music), Parthenope (virgin face), Peisinoë (seductive thoughts), Raidne (improvement), Teles (perfection), Thelxepeia (soft words), Thelxiope (seductive face) are their names. The most famous three were Parthenope, Ligeia, and Leucosia. The symbolism goes back to true life in which one takes risks. Here one can suffer damage, but he who never dares anything, may not live life to the fullest.
The powder box is made of opalescent glass in which the representation is modelled in diapositive on the underside of the lid to prevent mermaids from actually swimming under water. The powder box is in sublime condition.