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...
These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

A gilt wood circular sunburst mirror, Italian, circa 1950, 50 cm diameter

A giltwood sunburst wall mirror, French circa 1940 wall mirror 65 cm diameter

A very large giltwood sunburst wall mirror, Italian, circa 1950

A stylish pair of silvered and gilt sunburst circular mirrors, Italian, circa 1950 71 cm diameter

An impressive gilt metal sunburst mirror French circa 1950, 125 cm diameter

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

A gliltwood circular sunburst mirror, Italian, circa 1950, 49 cm diameter

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 gilt metal circular sunburst wall mirror, Italian, circa 1950. 59 cm diameter

A gilt wood circular sunburst wall mirror, Italian, circa 1950. 63 cm diameter

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

A good giltwood and bevelled glass sunburst mirror, Italian, circa 1950. 62 cm diameter

A very decorative giltwork oval sunburst mirror, Italian, circa 1940. 84 cm high, 68 cm high

Julian Chichester, carved and limed wood Sunburst mirror. Diameter 150 cm. Provenance: Laura Kincade fine furniture and lighting, Sydney

A Regency giltwood sun-burst wall mirror, circa 1820, the circular convex plate within a beaded circular decorated frame surrounded by carved stylised sunburst decoration 69 cm wide 69 cm high

A French giltwood and silvered sunburst mirror. Diameter 60 cm.

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