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     Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 28  1909  page 371

Sybill Arms at Little Mote, Eynsford By George C. Druce continued

turning upon the undying theme of the irresistible power of human love.
   One of the minor details that has apparently remained constant is the shape of the mirror. Representations of such mirrors are numerous in churches, more particularly in the

article on "Mirrors" in Professor Beckmannís History of Inventions and Discoveries (4th Ed., Bohn, 1846, vol. ii., p. 56). After referring to the uncertainty of the meaning of the passage in Pliny (Book XXXVI., ch. 26, 66), where he speaks of mirrors invented (" excogitavit" is the word) in the Sidonian glassworks, and to the unreliable character of the passages in the Problems ascribed to Alexander of Aphrodisias, and in Isidore, he goes on to say: "It is in the thirteenth century that I find undoubted mention of glass mirrors covered at the back with tin or lead. Johannes Peckham or Peccam, an English Franciscan monk, who taught at Oxford, Paris, and Rome, and who died in 1292, wrote about the year 1279 a treatise of optics, which was once printed with the title of Johannes Pisani Perspectiva Communis. In this work, besides mirrors made of iron, steel, and polished marble, the author not only speaks often of glass mirrors, but says also

hands of the mermaid. A beautiful instance of this occurs on a misericorde at Cartmel, where the frame is richly ornamented. Such mirrors were of polished silver or other metal, and there are many references to them in classical 

writers. But in the Latin Bestiary, MS. Add. 11,283, occur the words, "speram de vitro." MS. Harl. 4751 has the same. The date of these MSS. is not later probably than 1250, so that here we have an interesting reference to glass mirrors, for I cannot, understand how the words can be taken in any other sense. The date when glass mirrors came into use has been much debated. The subject is fully discussed in the

Page 371 

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