When held in the hand, with the handle downward, the Aston mirror presents a slightly symmetrical pattern of 3 small circles floating within 3 larger circles.
When the mirror is hung on the wall, with the handle pointing upward, it is possible to discern the abstract forms of two birds, or the cartoon-like forms of a face with crossed eyes.
The ambiguity is created by the extreme abstraction. The viewer is left puzzling: did I really see a bird, or a human face, or is it just my imagination? Visual punning is particularly evident when the mirror and its decoration is considered in light of its function.