In early America, mirrors were quite expensive. If you broke one, not only did you have 7 years of bad luck, but also no looking-glass or the money to afford a new one. Early New Englanders learned from their Puritan heritage to waste not, want not. The thing to do with a broken mirror was to make new ones with whatever pieces were big enough. Ever since Americans started to collect antiques from our own country, in the early 1900s, these make-do or “fragment mirrors” have been treasured because they represent a tangible portrayal of how New Republicans of modest means lived their day-to-day lives. This is an early handled fragment mirror. The old finish is a worn gray/black paint color (white beneath) on the front and Spanish brown paint on the reverse. The fragmented mirror plate is quite worn and early, probably first half of the 19th-century. Note the small wire repairs on either side of the mirror plate to secure a crack in the wood. Measures 7” high x 4.25” wide and has had the addition of a leather string for hanging.