plus ou moins la netteté de leur poli

Angela Thomas

Senior Member
English -- USA
Hi again! Thanks again for all those who helped with my previous posts.
DOC: 1907 Museum catalog of ancient mirrors - Introduction, section about mirror cases.
CONTEXT: ÉTUIS À MIROIRS. - Les miroirs métalliques des Anciens, malgré leur solidité apparente, étaient doués d'un pouvoir réfléchissant plus fragile que celui de nos miroirs étamés, car, tandis que ceux-ci ne seraient vulnérables qu'au revers de la glace, dans la couche d'amalgame, si elle n'était protégée d'une manière permanente contre tout contact, les miroirs des Anciens étaient exposés non seulement à perdre plus ou moins la netteté de leur poli dans les chocs multipliés de l'usage quotidien, mais encore à subir toutes les altérations dues aux agents atmosphériques. Il y avait donc certaines précautions à prendre pour les empêcher de se rayer, de s'iriser, de se ternir.
ATTEMPT: The metal mirrors of the Ancients, despite their apparent solidity, possessed a reflective property weaker than that of our own tin-plated mirrors, for, while only the amalgam coating on the reverse of our looking glass is vulnerable, as its obverse is permanently protected from any contact, the mirrors of the Ancients were subject not only to losing varying degrees of brightness in their polish because of the bumps and bruises accumulated through daily use, but also to suffering all the changes caused by atmospheric agents.
QUERY: Is this faithful to the French? I really don't like "in" their polish, but I'm stymied. Suggestions please.
Thank you in advance!
 
  • Itisi

    Senior Member
    English UK/French
    Suggestion: to losing more or less of the clarity of their polish in the course of their daily use over time

    But I think something is wrong with this reverse/obverse business. I will have another look tomorrow...
     

    Angela Thomas

    Senior Member
    English -- USA
    Really elegant Itisi! Thank you!
    I can just use "back" and "front" here -- the sentence is complicated enough as it is. Reverse/obverse is commonly used with mirrors and coins.
     

    Itisi

    Senior Member
    English UK/French
    I've taken liberties with the structure of the sentence, but hopefully not with the meaning:

    Only the back of the looking-glass, the coat of amalgam, was vulnerable, but this was protected at all times against any contact; whereas mirrors in Antiquity were at risk not only of losing etc,
     
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