From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Asasif, Tomb CC 37, Hall (C), burial 16, inside large round basket, Carnarvon/Carter excavations, 1911
Bronze or copper alloy
l. 16.5 cm (6 1/2 in.); w. 6.8 cm (2 11/16 in.)
Purchase, Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1926
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 114
This was cast in two pieces and a tang at the bottom of the disk was inserted into the handle and held in place with a rivet. The handle is in the form of a stylized papyrus plant, a symbol of creative female power, and brings to mind the papyrus swamp, which in Egyptian mythology was associated with regeneration.
The mirror belongs to a set of cosmetic equipment (26.7.837a–d) that includes a razor and whetstone, tweezers, and a kohl tube (26.7.1447). All of these items were found in a basket placed in a tomb for the use of the owner's spirit.
Excavated by Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, 1911; acquired by Carnarvon in the division of finds. Carnarvon Collection purchased by the Museum from Lady Carnarvon, 1926.