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 large Venetian over-mantel mirror of rectangular form surmounted with a central acanthus leaf motif, early 20th century, 140 cm high, 90 cm wide

A Venetian over-mantel mirror of rectangular form with applied central oval panel, early 20th century, 98 cm high, 66 cm wide

A verre eglomise cushion wall mirror French /Venetian, circa 1940 80 cm high, 58 cm wide

Murano overmantel mirror cut and etched with floral decoration (A/F). Height 109 cm. Width 76.7 cm. Provenance: Collection of Margot Montgomery

Vintage 1950's Venetian style wall mirror, approx 110 cm high

A late 19th century Venetian cushion front mirror, the rectangular glass plate with foliate etching and mounts. 164 cm high, 101 cm wide

A Venetian style cushion front wall mirror, the bevelled plate within a mirrored surround, each corner with an etched glass embellishment, 126 x 127 cm

A petite late 18th century Venetian mirror, painted in the Chinoiserie style in parcel gilt and vermillion. The rococo shield shaped carved frame surmounted by floral and cloud form pediments. 66.5 cm x 45 cm. Along with an associated mahogany, lead weight

Pair of Venetian style console tables decorated with swags, tassels and two Blackamoor's playing musical instruments, with matching mirrors each decorated with eight Blackamoor's at play, console approx 91 cm high, 131 cm wide, 45 cm deep and mirrors, appr

A fine floral moulded Venetian glass mirror, Italian, 19th century

A Venetian style wall mirror, 20th century, the arched mirror with a foliate embellished crest, having etched stencil motifs of floral sprays to the borders and crest and applied sections attached with petite lobed amber glass beads. Height 105 cm. Width 6

An Italian etched glass mirror, probably Venetian, 18th/19th century, the rectangular plate within mirror panels, an engraved lattice and foliate design above and trailing scroll and foliate side panels, applied coloured glass rosettes to corners, a pointe

A Venetian mirror, 19th century; with gilt spiral twist frame, 81 x 50 cm

A good Venetian cobalt blue and clear glass mirror, Italian circa 1900. 151 cm high x 101 cm wide. Provenance: Private Collection, Sydney

A good Venetian cut glass wall mirror, circa 1940. 140 cm high, 80 cm wide

A Venetian cushion mirror with rectangular plate within banded of gilt glass spiral border. 140 cm high, 74 cm wide.

A very decorative Murano peach clear and gold speckled glass pier mirror, Italian 1950. 127 cm high, 61 cm wide

A Venetian style wall mirror with a segmented etched surround and crest, 123 x 90 cm

A Venetian style wall mirror, with a pierced crest and an etched border, 104 x 60 cm

A Venetian cartouche shaped wall mirror, circa 1940, 106 x 52 cm

Venetian wall mirror, with silver finish to frame (A/F). Height 138 cm. Width 70 cm

An elaborate Venetian glass mirror, Italian, mid 20th century 152.5 cm high, 96.5 cm wide

Venetian etched glass wall mirror with applied floral decoration. 100 x 63 cm

Venetian glass and brass cushion mirror, Italian, applied pink and blue spiral canes 77 x 89 cm

Venetian style hall mirror, with etched design and applied glass flowers, 139 x 72 cm

A Venetian style wall mirror framed with multi faceted glass panels 160 x 110 cm

A Venetian style wall mirror framed with multi- faceted glass panels 160 x 110 cm

A Venetian giltwood mirror, 18th century, the pierced giltwood frame, etched to the centre, an image of an Italian nobleman, on the original plate. Width 65 cm. Height 90 cm

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