If the light falls on the surface at a certain angle, it can be reflected from the upper level and, after refraction, from the lower level, too.
This way, double and multiple images can be created.
A Blondel mirror I took from my grandma. It is a full figure mirror, around 120 years old, and has never been repaired. It literally sits now with my daughter and I at the table, in the dining room. The frame is carved out of incredibly lightweight wood, guilt and painted with some brass-like tint. The painting is getting a patina, and it covers the wooden handwork perfectly; it still looks like it was made of copper of brass or bronze. Its back is also wooden: dried, shrunk, maybe even a bit rotten. There is a cut-glass margin which skews, distorts and sometimes duplicates the images of the objects in it. The silver of the mirror is perfectly intact.
When I met the mirror, it was sitting between the two large windows of my grandma’s bedroom. It was surrounded by minimalistic, sombre, black solid furniture, with a nightstand below, which was full of old-style perfumes, more or less rancid lipsticks, creams and talc. Behind it, the windows opened to an unusually big, wild and chaotic bed of lilies of the valley. Their smell would get into the room during the sunset airings. It lived through my grandma putting her lipstick on with a disgusted grim on her face, me dancing in front of it a couple of minutes later and more than thirty years ago. I smuggled it out of my grandma’s house while she was lying far away on her dying bed. ‘You can take the mirror now’ she said unexpectedly gracefully and surrealistically certain about what was happening behind her back. It was taken across four countries, covered in nasty newspapers and grease-smelling ropes to not attract attention.
A couple of days ago, after a careful consideration, sitting in front of it, I ticked the boxes: ‘any other mixed background’ for my ethnicity and something vague like ‘any other gender’ in an official paper.