4 hours ago
Reluctant to look in the mirror? Try looking at a mirror as a first step.
For the ancient Egyptians, this mirror would have been symbolic of rejuvenation.
In life, the mirror would have underscored the rejuvenating effects of cosmetics that would have been applied with its help.
In death, when placed in a tomb as a funerary offering, the mirror would have promised eternal rejuvenation to the deceased.
The oval-shaped disk of the mirror itself recalls Egyptian depictions of the rising sun. Indeed the owner, when gazing into the polished bronze, would have appeared one with the orb and shared in its eternal power.
The handle, cleverly and seamlessly crafted in the form of a papyrus head and nude young girl, also would evoke fertility and the prospect of rebirth. Around the girl's waist is incised a cowrie-shell girdle, often worn as a fertility emblem.
The overall shape of the mirror is similar to the hieroglyphic sign of the ankh, meaning "life," which was also an Egyptian word for "mirror."
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Mirror. Egyptian. New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, 1539-1292 BC. Bronze. Gift of the Morgens West Foundation.