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 Victorian circular convex mirror in a black and gilt frame; 15 cm square

A circular carved giltwood convex sunburst mirror, Italian circa 1950, 60 cm diameter

A fine quality carved and gilt wood convex sunburst mirror French circa 1950, 68 cm diameter

A fine carved gilt and silvered glt and convex sunburst mirror Italian circa 1940, 70 cm diameter

A giltwood and gesso circular convex sunburst mirror, Italian, circa 1950, 60 cm diameter

Antique Regency English convex mirror surmounted by eagle, 46 cm wide at the centre, 75 cm high approx

English Georgian gilt convex mirror, c.1800 with carved eagle surmounted & rococo decoration

A small proportioned oval convex glass mirror with applied decoration. Height. 60 x 40 W

A giltwood convex sunburst wall mirror, Italian, circa 1950. 43 cm diameter

A circular giltwood convex sunburst wall mirror, Italian, circa 1900. 55 cm diameter

A circular convex giltwood sunburst mirror, Italian, circa 1950

A giltwood sunburst convex wall mirror, Italian, circa 1950. 50 cm diameter

A French Empire style gilt wood framed convex mirror with a circular frame, surmounted by an eagle finial, 67 cm high

An unusual gothic revival circular convex wall mirror, French, circa 1865. 53 cm diameter

A giltwood convex starburst mirror, Italian, circa 1950. 53 cm diameter

Regency convex mirror in gilded frame, c. 1815, with eagle surmount and ball decoration, ebonised slip, original gilding and plate, height 105 cm, width 60 cm. Provenance: Fraser's Antiques, Willoughby, 1992

An imposing Regency convex gilt mirror with eagel finial and candle holders

Regency style gilt wood convex mirror, surmounted with an eagle, approx 110 cm high

A Regency giltwood convex mirror, the circular convex plate with an ebonised reeded slip within a circular frame mounted with balls, surmounted by a winged eagle with ball and chain, with foliate scrolled arms to either side and finial to base, 82 cm wide,

19th century French convex mirror, the dome plate within a black border and gilt, the plate surmounted by an eagle. 130 cm high.

A good carved wood circular starburst convex mirror, French, circa 1940. 80 cm diameter approximately

A very decorative peach and clear glass triple layer flower shaped convex wall mirror, Italian, circa 1950. 47 cm diameter

A good brass and convex glass starburst mirror, Italian, circa 1950, approx. 52 cm diameter

A George II style walnut wall mirror, with a swan neck shaped pediment in burr walnut and central palmette, the simple convex profile of the frame enclosing an arched mirror with a conforMing base. Height 91.5 cm. Width 57.5 cm

A good 19th century gilded framed convex wall mirror, the circular frame with ebonised internal moulding, the eagle pediment with outstretched wings upon a rocky outcrop, scroll and leaf detail applied mount to the base. Diameter 65 cm

A gilt-wood convex starburst wall mirror, Italian, circa 1940. 59 cm diameter

A gilt gesso circular starburst convex wall mirror, Italian circa 1950. 63 cm diameter

A gilt gesso circular starburst convex wall mirror, Italian, circa 1950. 63 cm diameter

A very decorative peach and clear glass triple layer flower shaped convex wall mirror, Italian, circa 1950. 47 cm diameter

A gilt-wood and convex glass starburst wall mirror, Italian, circa 1940, 83 cm wide

A gilt-wood convex wall mirror with eagle finial and twin candle branches, 95 cm high

A Georgian style gilt wood and convex mirror twin branch wall light, 78 cm high, 34 cm wide

A French Empire gilt wood convex mirror, the circular plate within an ebonised and gilt wood surround beneath an eagle crest above a shell and husk pendant, 109 x 65 cm

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