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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An Art Deco style oval wrought iron framed wall mirror with a bevelled plate, beneath a foliate crest, 94 cm high

An Art Deco style wrought iron framed wall mirror, the diamond shaped plate housed in a fan shaped wrought iron mount with stylised foliate pierced decoration, 115 x 145 cm

An Art Deco style wrought iron framed wall mirror the diamond shaped plate housed in a fan shaped wrought iron mount with stylised foliate pierced decoration, 115 x 145 cm

An Art Deco gilt framed bevelled glass mirror 32 cm high

An Art Deco silver plated opalescent glass and ivory mirror wall light, French, circa 1905. 45 cm high x 60 cm wide

An Art Deco wrought iron wall mirror, circa 1920, the bevelled rectangular central plate within an incised frame with cut corners and a rose to each side. Height 47.5 cm. Width 88 cm.

An Art Deco wrought iron wall mirror, circa 1920, the plate with arched open top mirror resting in a frame with scrolling sides, each with a rose. Height 35.5 cm. Width 83 cm.

Art Deco wrought iron wall mirror, circa 1920, the bevelled rectangular mirror set with a hammered border and pierced floral apron. Height 42.5 cm. Length 69 cm

An Art Deco wrought iron wall mirror, circa 1920, the V-based plate with open top resting in a geometrically-scrolled frame with a rose to each side. Height 38.5 cm. Length 88.5 cm

A French Art Deco wrought iron wall mirror, circa 1930 75 x 57 cm

An Art Deco cast-iron wall mirror, French, circa 1925 90 cm wide, 62 cm high

An Art Deco cast-iron oval wall mirror, French, circa 1925 88 cm wide, 42 cm high

An Art Deco ivory tusk mounted circular wall mirror 41 cm diameter

An Art Deco wrought iron framed wall mirror, the bevelled oval plate within a foliate pierced wrought iron frame. Width 105 cm

A French Art Deco wrought iron wall mirror, circa 1930 55 x 58 cm

Art Deco oval wrought iron mirror with bevelled edge glass and a substantial iron frame of tassels and continuous roundels

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