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Steamer Porthole Mirror, Bronze - 510mm Dia.


The word "porthole" originated during the reign of Henry VI of England (1485). It seems the good king insisted on mounting guns too large for his ships and therefore the conventional methods of securing the weapons on the forecastle and aftcastle could not be used. A French shipbuilder named James Baker was commissioned to solve the problem, which he did by creating openings in the ship's sides so the cannon could be mounted inside the fore and after castles. Covers, or gun ports, were fitted for heavy weather and when the cannon were not in use. The French word "porte" meaning door, was used to designate the revolutionary invention. "Porte" was Anglicized to "Port" and later evolved to "porthole". Eventually, it came to mean any opening in a ship's side whether for cannon or not.

A porthole consists of at least two structural components and is primarily a heavy circular glass disk encased in a metal frame that is bolted securely into the side of a ship's hull. Portholes range in diameter from several inches to more than two feet, and weigh from several pounds to over one hundred pounds. Much of the porthole's weight comes from its glass, which, on ships, can be as much as two inches thick. Metal components of a porthole are also typically very heavy; they are usually sand-cast and made of bronze, brass, steel, iron, or aluminium. Bronze and brass are most commonly used, favoured for their resistance to saltwater corrosion. The design of the porthole is such that it achieves its humble purposes without sacrificing the integrity of the ship's hull. The porthole's thick glass and rugged construction, tightly spaced fasteners, indeed even its round shape, all contribute to its purpose of maintaining hull strength and pressure of storm waves crashing against it.

Relive the luxury and adventure of days gone by with the Steamer Porthole Mirror, traditionally meticulously crafted from heavy, sand cast bronze, today recreated faithfully in light metal with bronzed finish for ease of use.

Also available in 380mm diameter.

Dia. 510mm x 70mm W.

Free delivery to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane metro areas.
Quotes to other areas not covered available on request, just email us at
Package pricing available on request.

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