The first mirrors used in civilisation as we know it, were probably pools of water, commonly known as puddles. The main quality that makes a good mirror is a flat surface with high reflectivity. As humans evolved, the next best example of mirrors were probably pieces of polished stone. Obsidian, a natural volcanic glass, is a good example.
Throughout the ages, these rudimentary mirrors have taken many forms including polished copper and bronze, right up to precious metals that were utlised by the super-rich of the time. The evolution of the mirror continued right up to the universally used object we know and use today.
Coming back to the 21st century, it’s not the actual mirror that people base their reason for buying, but how it is framed. Antique mirrors are becoming increasingly popular and offer a refreshing alternative to the standard, mass produced mirrors that are encased in plastic or basic wooden frames. Believe it or not, you can actually find cheap antique mirrors for sale online. These are not cheap because of poor workmanship or defects, they are cheap because of the relatively plentiful availability. Whether it’s superstition or another reason, people will rarely discard a mirror unless it is broken. This national or even worldwide psyche has resulted in a wide range of antique mirrors available on the market.
How Is The Modern Mirror Made?
Mirrors are created by applying a reflective coating to a suitable substrate, the most common of which is glass. Glass is used because it is hard, transparent, easy to work with and its unrivalled ability to take a smooth finish. The finished mirror is then framed and ready for retail or wholesale distribution.
The main function of a mirror for the majority of us is for personal grooming and navigating vehicles safely. Please see below for a sample list of applications made possible by the humble mirror:
- Dental and Medical Procedures
- Solar Power
- Seasonal Lighting (for areas that see no sun because of an obstruction)
- Precision Engineering Tools
- Entertainment (think Disco Balls!)
Mirrors can also play a major role in interior design. Regardless of whether it’s a contemporary mirror or an antique mirror in a period home, every home does have one or more mirrors in it and a building feels slightly odd without one.
Buying A Mirror
Buying a mirror is easy, nearly every shop seems to sell mirrors of some description and that is why they are probably present in nearly every home throughout the world. If you want a specific mirror for business or home, you will need to look for a supplier that has a large selection for sale or solely supplies mirrors. Such shops do exist!
If you want something a bit special such as an antique mirror, you can check online or alternately keep your eye out the next time you go past your local antique shop, visit a country fair or attend a flea market.