Mirrors are not exactly the ideal component of a juggling prop. They tend to break and cut, which are not qualities one looks for in a prop. However, that hasn’t stopped jugglers over the years from decorating their props with mirrors. In the days before complex tricks and special lighting, the effect of having mirrors reflect the stage lights was apparently worth the risk of breaking the mirrors. Let’s take a look at some examples of mirrored props.
A surprising number of early juggling clubs had mirrors embedded on their surface. Even the first retail club maker, Edward Van Wyck, made a club that included mirrors. The Museum of Juggling History has one of only two known examples of a mirrored Van Wyck club on display. It dates from between 1895 and 1919.
Mirrored Van Wyck club
Another example of early mirrored clubs is the set of clubs used by George Moore. These are also on display in the Museum of Juggling History.
George Moore mirrored clubs
Harry Lind, who made clubs from 1920 to 1960, made four sided clubs with embedded mirrors. The Museum of Juggling History has the only known existing example on display.
Mirrored Harry Lind club
Below are some other mirrored clubs of unknown origin and date of manufacture.
Unknown mirrored clubs
Harry Ferrier was known for using mirrored clubs while wearing a similarly mirrored jacket.
You would think that no juggler would juggle with mirrored balls, but during the 1980s, one company tried to sell just such a ball. Rocky Mountain Juggling Supplies sold mirrored stage balls in the 1980s, as you can see below.
Several famous jugglers used mirrored balls for balancing on head pedestals and such. These include Ernest Montego and Vinicio Chiesa.
Vinicio Chiesa props, including a mirrored ball.
Ameron Rosvall has created rings with a mirrored surface, although, unlike the previous props, the mirrors are not hard and breakable. You can see a brief video of Ameron using them below.
If you know of other examples of mirrored juggling props, please let me know about them.