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Looking Glass, 1770–80
America or England
Mahogany, gilding, and mirrored glass
Lent by the Chipstone Foundation 1954.13


Those who work at making mirrors… coat with quicksilver [mercury] huge sheets of glass so that the other side may give a clearer reflection… [they] become palsied and asthmatic from handling mercury…you may see these workmen gazing with reluctance and scowling at the reflection of their own sufferings in their mirrors and cursing the trade they have adopted
.  Ramazzini, 1700