Mirror with Papyrus Handle Featuring Two Ibex Heads
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
The Egyptians associated mirrors with female sexuality and rebirth. Women needed mirrors to apply cosmetics and style their hair. Mirrors were thereby intimately connected with the eroticism that led to rebirth.
Mirrors were also a symbol of cosmic creation. The disc of the mirror on a papyrus-plant handle symbolized the moment when the creator-god emerged from the primordial swamp in the form of the sun. Creation then subdued the chaos of the deserts, here represented by the two ibex heads. This symbolic depiction of the original creation served as an aid to the self’s re-creation in the tomb.
ca. 1539-1292 B.C.E.
Other (handle): 4 3/16 x 3 9/16 x 13/16 in. (10.7 x 9 x 2 cm)
Other (disk): 4 1/8 x 3 3/4 x 5/16 in. (10.5 x 9.5 x 0.8 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Bronze mirror in two parts; papyriform handle ends in an umbel topped with two ibex heads, facing out; their horns meet in the center. A rectangular socket in the handle received the trapezoidal tenon from the disk itself which is ellipsoid in shape.
Condition: Scratched and in several areas on both handle and disk with bronze disease.
This item is not on view
Mirror with Papyrus Handle Featuring Two Ibex Heads, ca. 1539-1292 B.C.E. Bronze, Other (handle): 4 3/16 x 3 9/16 x 13/16 in. (10.7 x 9 x 2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 75.168a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 75.168a-b_front_PS4.jpg)
front, 75.168a-b_front_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2016
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.