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how can u tell how old a mirror is? Answered




8 years ago

So, my friend told me that you can tell a mirror's age by holding a lighter close to the mirror, and count how many flames you can see in the reflection. You need to look at it from an angle. Then multiply the number of flames by 7. Does any one know about this? Or ever hear about it? My friend wasn't certain on the number of years and I wanted to know the truth. We tested all of the mirrors in the house, all were different. Any thoughts?

In the late 70s I worked for for an elderly woman . antiques dealer she told be something similar which was 10 years for every reflection where she heard it from I don't know but that's all I know


5 months ago

Mirrows:Can any tell me what this is and maybe how old.


Can anyone tell me about this hand mirror?


any ideas on this one ? The mirror has alot of sparkles in it. I know it goes back to at least 1900


yes I have heard of putting the lighter up to the mirror but as far as it being true as to the age of it , honey I don't know, I'm claiming it because it's what I've always done, OWCH , change is scary


7 years ago

hold the mirror 16 inches from the ground with the shiny side up. drop it flat. count the pieces it separated into and multiply that number by 0.12. that's how old the mirror is.

Start with the glass-antique glass isn't flat, it usually has ripples and/or bubbles in it, as well as more color (greens, browns and blues depending on chemical traces and length of time exposed to UV light).  True silver backing will usually show light spots and clear areas, sometimes turning black or flaking off (but so will more modern backings).

A chemical test on the reflective material may indicate the age of the mirror, since I *think the material used was changed somewhere during the 19th or early 20th century.

Also, modern mirrors are made using glass sheet that has almost no imperfections (bubbles for instance). Bubble in the glass, even small ones would indicate some age.

Historically mirrors had bevelled edges, reflective glass without being a "looking-glass". Since grinding & polishing glass is time-consuming & expensive, if it's got the edge (and a wooden frame) that's an indication of some age.


The only trick I know is to place the point of a pencil on the glass and see how far away the reflection appears. Older mirror glass is thinner, so the closer the reflected point is to the real point, the older the mirror. If it's a wall mirror, check the glass thickness at the top, middle and bottom. If it's noticeably thicker at the bottom, that is also an indicator of age. Older glass will also tend to be a bit wavy.
None of this will tell you how old the mirror is, though. For that you need an antiques expert to actually examine the mirror.

Check if there is a production date on the frame, back or in a corner.  I would think that an old mirror would have a little flaking of the reflective coating around the edges.  That's all that I can think of.