Looking into the mirror today may involve the simple click of a free app on your iPhone. However, according to French historian Sabine Melchior Bonnet’s erudite book, ‘The Mirror, A history’ (English, Routledge 2001), in the early 16th Century, a mere Venetian silver-framed mirror was worth almost three times the price of a painting by Raphael! 

As Bonnet explains, the feat of seeing one’s reflection from head to toe is a quite recent invention as mirrors befo...

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