The mirror, an object with at least one reflective surface, can be made in a variety of forms. The most familiar is the plane mirror, a flat surface for simple reflection. Other forms include curved, magnifying and two way.
The use of reflective surfaces has been around since the dawn of time, when people would have used pools of dark, still water to reflect themselves. Various surfaces were then developed, with the use of obsidian, a natural volcanic glass at around 6000 BC, polished stone or polished metal, either copper or bronze at about 2000BC. The development of metal coated glass is thought to have been introduced in modern-day Lebanon around the turn of the first century AD, with gold coated glass or leaded coated blown glass being developed by the Romans.
During the early renaissance, Europeans developed a superior method of coating glass with an amalgam of tin and mercury and Venice grew as the centre of expertise in this method. Mirrors throughout this period were expensive luxuries and it was only with the development of silvering of glass, credited to a German in the early 19th century, that mass production was possible, making mirrors more affordable.
There is much written about the superstition surrounding mirrors, with them being considered reflection of the soul or a portal into another world. A common superstition is that someone who breaks a mirror receives seven years bad luck. This was probably borne from the fact that the soul is said to renew itself every seven years.
Scientific development has incorporated different types of mirrors into many applications, including in lasers, televisions, instruments, microwaves, military equipment and vehicles.
Plane mirrors are used in interior decoration to create the illusion of increased space by reflecting areas and light. They can also be used as decorative features on a wall, especially when combined with a frame, either contemporary or traditional and highly stylised.
Decorative mirror suppliers provide them in a range of styles, sizes and quality. Purchasing mirrors on line can provide a convenient way to explore the range of styles available without having to trail around endless stores over a wide area.
The designs of mirrors are endless and range from art deco mirrors to plain and contemporary. Suppliers provide wall hanging and floor standing mirrors. Frames can be mirrored or made of another material, for example black glass mirror, high quality ornate frame.
Rococo framed mirrors, still sought after by many customers, come in a variety of colours, shapes and forms. Venetian mirrors are especially pleasing to the eye as the frame is made from smaller intricately cut and/or etched pieces of mirrored glass. They tend to be at the higher end of the price scale but can be considered works of art in themselves.
Mirrors for children can incorporate a design or be formed in the shape of an animal or lettering. As safety is paramount, they are made from acrylic which retain the same highly reflective surface as mirrors but are shatterproof and light.
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