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.

A large and impressive Spanish gilded and ebonised mirror, 18th century

A repousse brass and original crimson velvet cushion wall mirror Italian, 18th century 112 cm high, 64 cm wide

A George l carved giltwood landscape mirror, circa 1710, the later triple plates within a strap work leaf carved frame, flanked by scrolling acanthus leaves, surmounted by griffin heads, with gilt brass candle sconce sockets, 61 cm high, 131 cm wide

A flamboyant gilt-wood wall mirror, Italian 18th century, 125 cm high, 90 cm wide

George III style stained beech fretwork wall mirror with gilded ho-ho bird cresting

George III walnut fretwork wall mirror the top with applied shell

Georgian gilt mahogany wall mirror. 80 cm high, 45 cm wide

Georgian mahogany wall mirror 90 cm wide, 60 cm high approx. As inspected

A George III carved giltwood gesso oval girandole mirror, 120 cm high, 66 cm wide

A George III carved giltwood girandole mirror, 104 cm high, 65 cm wide

A 19th century George II style walnut & parcel gilt wall mirror, second half of the 19th century, with a scroll fret carved frame with parcel gilt eagle surmount, replaced mirror plate, 50 cm height x 51 cm width.

Georgian style wall mirror, 73 cm x 33 cm (frame) approx

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

A Georgian style mahogany wall mirror, early 19th century, with bevelled glass mirror framed inside boxwood inlay stringing, and veneered continuous leafy border. The top and bottom mirror decorated with inlay work depicting sea shells. Height 101 cm; widt

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

A good 19th century George II style mirror, second half of the 19th century, with broken arch surmount flanking central armorial coronet cartouche, with leaf scroll and garland mouldings, 174 cm height x 91 cm width.

George III gilded mahogany wall mirror. Height 97 cm, width 54 cm.

A pair of George III style gilt-wood mirrors, English, late 19th/20th century, 110 x 40 cm

An Empire style mantel mirror, with an architectural style cornice dotted with stars and a central flower above pierced fan motifs and trumpeting angels, the sides further embellished with pendant gilt bronze motifs in the late 18th century manner. Length

An 18th century giltwood and gesso pier mirror, well-carved frame with rococo surmount. Height 168 cm. Width 52 cm

A Georgian mahogany wall mirror carved pediment restored. Height 95 cm. Width 53.5 cm

George III mahogany fretwork wall mirror with central gilded ho-ho bird and inlaid shell paterae

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

A George III mahogany and parcel gilt mirror surmounted by ho ho birds

A George III style 19th century gilt wood wall mirror with the rectangular plate within a carved gilt frame with a carved crest. 56 wide

A Georgian carved & gilt wood wall mirror with relief cherub mask and wing pediment above a scallop shell and scroll base. Replacement mirror. Height 96 cm

A large Huanghuali wall mirror, 17th/18th century, the mounts inlaid with sandalwood and bone motifs of bats, dragons and clouds, the spandrels and upper and lower mounts carved in boxwood with open-work stylised designs of exotic fruit, flowers and birds,

A Chinoiserie pierced giltwood mirror, English, 18th century. 106 x 63 cm

A George III small mahogany wall mirror, English, early 19th century, 76 cm high, 30 cm wide

Spanish 18th century gilt wood wall mirror carved with foliate scrolls and lattice work with original silvered plate and remnants of the original paint work

A George II walnut and giltwood mirror, circa 1740, the rectangular replaced plate within a shaped walnut surround with gilded trim, the acanthus leaf crest with flanking rocaille and each side with carved foliate garlands, 134 cm x 67 cm

A pair of Italian reverse-etched girandoles, 17/18th century, the rectangular mirror plates, each etched with theatrical figures, glass prism borders with applied glass rosettes, pierced petal surround, the shaped apron supporting fluted scrolling candle b

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

Antique English Georgian style walnut & giltwood surround wall mirror, approx 97.5 cm high, 59 cm wide

A pair of George III gilt wood wall mirrors, each with the rectangular plate surmounted by carved shell, within a frame with rococo decoration carved with acanthus and C scrolls. 83 cm high, 67 cm wide.

A George III giltwood framed wall mirror with a rectangular plate beneath a feather carved crest, 98 x 44 cm

A finely carved gilt-wood mirror, Italian, 18th/19th century. 180 cm high, 105 cm wide