This delicate bronze hand mirror was cast in two pieces: the thin, ellipsoidal mirror disc has a tang that neatly fits into a hole in the socket handle and is held in place by a small bronze rivet. The handle is in the form of a papyrus column, perhaps the most popular shape for Egyptian mirror handles, with an attenuated umbel that is usual for this period. The thin, elegant disc, once burnished to a gleaming reflective surface, now features a fine deep green/brown patina.
The shaft of metallic mirrors were made in Egypt as early as the Old Kingdom and had function as well as religious and funerary uses. Reflecting the image of a person, the mirror disc was associated with vitality, generation and regeneration. The shape of the papyrus stalk, so often used as a handle, points out this association together with solar, and to a lesser extent lunar connection considering the shape and light-giving quality of the disk.
Dimensions: Height: 6 5/8 inch (16.82 cm)
Condition: with deep green/brown patina, mirror and handle possibly reattached, but intact and in very good condition overall. A rare example.
Provenance: Phillip Adams Collection of Ancient Art, Sydney Australia since 1970's. Phillip Andrew Hedley Adams, AO, FAHA, FRSA (b. 12 July 1939) is an Australian humanist, social commentator, broadcaster, public intellectual and farmer. He hosts an ABC Radio National program, Late Night Live, and writes a column for The Australian. He has had successful careers in advertising and film production, and has served on many non-profit boards including Greenpeace Australia, Ausflag, Care Australia, Film Victoria, National Museum of Australia, both the Adelaide and Brisbane festivals of ideas, the Montsalvat Arts Society and the Don Dunstan Foundation. Adams has been appointed both a Member and subsequently an Officer of the Order of Australia; and he has received numerous awards including five honorary doctorates from Australian universities; Republican of the Year 2005; the Senior ANZAC Fellowship; the Australian Humanist of the Year, the Golden Lion at Cannes; the Longford Award; a Walkley Award; and the Henry Lawson Australian Arts Award. In 1997 the International Astronomical Union named a minor planet orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter after him. A National Trust poll elected him one of Australia's 100 national living treasures.