Damascus: Makers of Mirrors

Date: c.1890-1906

Arabic: marāyātī

The craft of mirror-making involves the creation of wooded frames to contain the reflective glass panel. The frame could be decorated by the use of marquetry with different kinds of wood, or the use of carved stucco (jiṣṣ), with painting and/or water gilding (māʾ al-dhahab).

Citation: al-Qasimi, Muhammad Saʿid, Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi, and Khalil al-ʿAzm (al-Azem), Dictionnaire des métiers damascains, ed., Zafer al-Qasimi. (Le Monde d’Outre-Mer passé et présent, Deuxième série, Documents III, Paris and Le Haye: Mouton and Co., 1960), p. 428 (chapter 350).
Also discussed in: Milwright, Marcus. “Wood and Woodworking in Late Ottoman Damascus: An Analysis of the Qāmūs al-Ṣināʿāt al-Shāmiyya”, Bulletin d’Etudes Orientales 61 (2012): p. 550.