Learn about Mirrors

Small handheld or wall mirrors were not made in England until the beginning of the 17th century. Until then, most were imported from Venice. The celebrated Vauxhall glasshouses were opened in the 1660s.

At first, hand blown techniques were used, but the glass showed a great many imperfections, particularly when used for mirror making. Glass casting, where the molten glass was poured on to a bed of hot metal and rolled, was introduced in France in the later 17th century, but it was not until 1773 that the British Plate Glass Company was incorporated. From then on this glass tended to supplant the French imports.

Initially the mirrored pieces were relatively small and a large carved frame frequently had to incorporate glazing bars to accommodate several pieces of glass. After the mid-18th century improved techniques meant that large plates could be produced, and one supplied by Chippendale measured 231cm by 146cm.

Bevelling techniques, in which the edge of the plate glass was ground to a forty-five degree angle and polished, were not used on a wide scale until after 1750. more...
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A George III gilt wood framed wall mirror with a rectangular plate beneath a carved foliate, 97 cm high, 52 cm wide. Provenance: Clonlara, East Melbourne, Victoria.

Rococo style carved giltwood mirror, the arched frame carved and moulded with scrolling foliage and leaves, top (A/F). Height 170 cm. Width 82 cm. Provenance: The Estate of Nancy Melick, NSW

Victorian giltwood and gesso overmantel mirror, c. 1860, the rectangular plate contained within a moulded frame with a breakfront architectural cresting centred by a cartouche containing the profile of a gentleman, flanked by acanthus moulded pilasters ter

Italian rococo style carved giltwood mirror, the arched plate contained within an ornately carved and moulded frame with a scrolling foliate crest surmounted by leaves and flanked by trailing foliage. Height 127 cm. Width 69 cm. Provenance: The Collection

Regency gilt and composition overmantel mirror, with floral scrolling panel, the rectangular plinth flanked by a pair of plain pilasters with composite capitals with a floral scrolling panel above, 110 cm x 137 cm. Ex Keith Okey collection Sydney Lot 305

A good George III gilt wood wall mirror, English, circa 1760. 116 cm high, 64 cm wide. Provenance: Private Collection, Sydney

A Regency overmantel mirror, circa 1820. The upper panel painted with en-grisaille panel of gambolling putti, with reeded cornice and pilaster form gilded gesso frame, 116.5 cm width x 154.5 cm height. Provenance: Purchased from Palmer Antiques, Sydney.

A gilt wood mirror, embossed with the Australian coat of arms, late 19th/20th century, 79 cm high, 65 cm wide

Carved and gilt French mirror, 1900, scrolled foliate border surmounted by garlands and a central shield motif. Height 185 cm width 122 cm. Provenance: Conley & Co., private collection, NSW

An elaborately carved gilt wood plate mirror, French, late 18th century, 86 x 75 cm. Provenance: John Dunn Antiques, Melbourne

A cream & gilt painted and relief decorated over-mantel mirror, French 19th century, 220 cm high, 116 cm wide. Provenance: Private Collection, Sydney

An Empire style gilt gesso and green painted over-mantel mirror, French 19th century, 151 cm high x 96 cm wide. Provenance: Private Collection, Sydney

A large carved gilt wood and walnut finish mirror, French, circa 1900. 230 cm high x 140 cm wide. Provenance. Private Collection Toorak, Melbourne

A green painted and gilt wood wall mirror, French, 19th century. 200 cm high x 120 cm wide. Provenance. Private Collection Toorak, Melbourne

A carved gilt wood and vernis Martin wall mirror, French, 19th century. 215 cm high, 125 cm wide. Provenance. Private Collection Toorak, Melbourne

Louis XV style gilt overmantle mirror, 19th century, leaf and berry border surmounted by garlands and a central shield motif. Height 198.5 cm. Width 160 cm. Provenance: Orlando design and Antiques, Mosman. The Estate of a Lady, NSW

Gilt framed cushion mirror, French 19th century, rectangular with decoration of flowers and leaves, rope twist border. Height 193 cm. Width 110 cm. Provenance: The Country Trader, Sydney. The Estate of a Lady, NSW

Carved Italian giltwood star Burst mirror, gilt decoration. Diameter 100 cm. Provenance: Ros Palmer Interiors, Woollahra. The Estate of a Lady, NSW

A large carved giltwood overmantel mirror, French late 19th century the rectangular bevelled plate within an acanthus carved frame with foliate scroll carved mounts to the base with lions' heads, with a floral carved cornice with a central cartouche, 175 c

A Louis XVI gilt-wood wall mirror, French, 18th century 170 cm high x 75 cm wide. Provenance: John Dunn Antiques, Melbourne

A fine and rare fiddle back blackwood rectangular wall mirror, Tasmanian 62 x 92 cm with gilt mount and gilt detail to terminals of split column pilasters. Provenance: Private Collection, NSW

19th century giltwood wall mirror the rectangular frame, recently restored, having applied turned pilasters and foliate carved panels, its original mirror plate surmounted by an eglomise panel of the Capitol building in Washington. Height 106 cm

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