Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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The Mirror
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the origami design known as the Mirror, which is folded from a windmill base and of the same design folded from a blintzed windmill base, which, in order to distinguish the two, will be referred to on this page / site as the Looking Glass. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

The Mirror is developed from the Frame and can in turn be developed into the Gondola. The Looking Glass is developed from the Picture Frame and can in turn be developed into the Chinese Junk.

Where the context is insufficient it can be difficult to know which of the two versions of the design is being pictured or referred to. It is possible that I have made mistakes when trying to work out which is which.

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Both designs appear as 'Le miroir' in separate lists of designs in the 'Manuel Pratique de Jardins D'Enfants de Friedrich Froebel, which was compiled by J F Jacobs and published in Brussells and Paris in 1859. In this case, although there are no illustrations in the book, the context makes it clear which design is which.

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The Looking Glass appears in 'De Kleine Papierwerkers', written by Elise Van Calcar and published by K H Schadd in Amsterdam in 1863.

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The Looking Glass design also appears in 'Des Kindes Erste Beschaftigungsbuch' by E Barth and W Niederley, which was first published in Bielefeld and Leipzig, and the foreword of which is dated October 1876.

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The Mirror appears in 'The Kindergarten Principle' by Mary J Lyschinska, which was published in London in 1880 by Wm Isbister Ltd,where it is called 'The Looking Glass'

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This design also appears as 'The Looking Glass' in part two of 'The Kindergarten Guide' by Maria Kraus Boelte and John Kraus, which was probably first published in 1881 by E. Steiger and Company in New York.

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The Looking Glass also appears in 'Pleasant Work for Busy Fingers' by Maggie Browne, which was published by Cassell and Company in London in 1891. This book is an English version of 'Des Kindes Erste Beschaftigungsbuch' enhanced by the addition of a few extra designs.

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The Looking Glass appears as 'Glace et son Cadre' (Mirror and it's Frame) in 'L'Annee Preparatoire de Travail Manuel' by M P Martin was published by Armand Collin & Cie in Paris in 1893.

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A design that appears to be the Looking Glass is pictured, but not named, in Eleonore Heerwart's 'Course in Paperfolding' was first published in Dutch in 1895 then in English by Charles and Dible in London and Glasgow in 1896.

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The Mirror appears in 'Die Frobelschen Beschaftigungen: Das Falten' by Marie Muller-Wunderlich, which was published by Friedrich Brandstetter in Leipzig in 1900.

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The Looking Glass appears as 'Espejo' (Mirror) in 'Guia Practica del Trabajo Manual Educativo' by Ezequiel Solana, which was published by Editorial Magisterio Espaņol in Madrid in 1904.

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In the last ever issue of the Catalan satirical magazine 'La Campana Catalana', published in Barcelona on 29th April 1908, in a cartoon by Apeles Mestres which pictures a variety of paperfolding designs.

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'Fun with Paperfolding' by William D Murray and Francis J Rigney, which was published by the Fleming H Revell Company, New York in 1928, contains a picture of the Looking Glass, although it is treated as just an intermediate form rather than a design in its own right.

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