An early Egyptian Copper Mirror, First Intermediate Period, ca. 2181 - 2055 BCE
The thin elliptical mirror disc, once burnished to a gleaming reflective surface, connects to a short tang that would have been inserted into a handle. The modern wooden handle seen here is modeled after those used in ancient times.
Reflecting the image of a person, the mirror disc was associated with vitality, generation, and regeneration. Further, the elliptical form and light-giving quality reflect that of the sun disk, and to a lesser extent the lunar as well.
Cf. Petrie Objects of Daily Use (Oxford, 1927), p. 32 & pl. xxviii, no. 35 for an identical example from an Old Kingdom tomb at Qau.
Dimensions: 16 cm (6.3 inches) x 16.5 cm (6.5 inches)
Condition: With a few minor losses to the edges, a minor dent in the upper surface, and small areas of corrosion, overall intact and in good condition. The wood handle is a museum-quality custom mount.
Provenance: Orange County private collection, California, acquired in the 1970s.
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