Mirror with handle shaped as standard

Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 11–13
2061–1640 B.C.


Height x width x depth: 25.5 x 16 x 2 cm (10 1/16 x 6 5/16 x 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Copper alloy; wood

Out on Loan

On display at Houston Museum of Natural Science, TX, May 17, 2013 – June 30, 2018


The Ancient World


Cosmetic and medical

This disk-shaped mirror of copper alloy has been mounted on a wooden handle shaped to represent a standard. The main handle of the standard has been decorated with incised lines, vertical at the top and horizontal below. The horizontal beam of the standard carries a small hieroglyphic inscription in black paint. Some discoloration due to bronze disease is evident on the mirror, and its original polish is gone.


By 1836: Robert Hay Collection, Linplum, Scotland; 1863: to his son, Robert James Alexander Hay; 1868-1872: Way Collection, Boston (purchased by Samuel A. Way through London dealers Rollin and Feuardent, 27 Haymarket); 1872: given to the MFA by Samuel's son, C. Granville Way.
(Accession Date: June 28, 1872)

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way