New Kingdom Mirror

Date: New Kingdom

Material: Bronze

Provenance: Egypt attributed

This bronze mirror is decorated with two small falcons and a papyrus shaped handle. Originally its bronze surface would have been polished, providing the user with a reflectivie surface in which to see themselves. Mirrors like this one have been found in burials of both Egyptian men and women. Ancient Egyptians took great pride in their appearance. Many had extensive cosmetic kits that included cosmetic jars, kohl containers, make-up applicators, tweezers, a razor and a mirror.

In addition to their role as daily items, mirrors were symbolic to the ancient Egyptians. Slightly flattened at the top, the disk was made to resemble the shape of the sun on the horizon. This shape, added to the shining bronze of the disk, would have created a convincing replica of the sun. All Egyptians desired to join the sun-god in his daily journey through the sky after their death, "reflecting" a belief in rebirth and renewal in this life and the next. As the owner's face was reflected in the mirror, they saw themselves as one with the sun.


Check out Cannon Fairbairn's video about this mirror on Youtube!