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

A Louis XVI style giltwood overmantle mirror, French, 19th century, 230 cm high, 160 cm wide

Antique French 19th century cushion shape mirror, 180 cm cm high, 108 cm wide

Exceptional antique 19th century French gilt surround mirror, well decorated crest with scrolling flower heads and central cartouche, 163 cm high, 106 cm wide

A French gilt bronze and white stone mounted table mirror, circa 1870, 45 cm high, 50 cm wide

A French painted giltwood salon mirror, surmounted with central pierced cartouche, late 19th century, 138 x 69 cm

A French Louis XVI style gilt gesso cushioned mirror, with pierced and carved cartouche decorated with central bird and flower pods, 179 x 92 cm

A large French giltwood salon mirror, 20th century, surmounted with central shell and acanthus leaf motif, 190 cm high, 130 cm wide

A Florentine style giltwood salon mirror, French, late 19th century, surmounted with central cartouche depicting a classical figure flanked by two stylized exotic birds, 150 cm hgh, 75 cm wide

A large French giltwood salon mirror, 19th century, carved and pierced work throughout, 300 cm hgh, 90 cm wide

An excellent French gilt-wood and finely carved mirror, 18th century, 270 cm high, 127 cm wide

A Neo-classical carved giltwood marble top console and mirror, French, 19th century, the mirror 189 x 160 cm, the console 91.5 cm high, 184 cm wide, 54 cm deep

A fine Napoleon III timber gilt wall mirror, mid 19th century. the elegant rectangular mirror in the Louis XVI style with the original bevelled plate surrounded by a narrow bead, the top rail having a gallery with finials centred with a shield and cornucop

Large antique French giltwood mirror, carved raised decoration to the side, 189.5 cm high, 117 cm wide

Antique French wall mirror with pressed metal surround, 84 x 45 cm approx.

A large French provincial-style overmantle mirror. The bevelled plate within a moulded and polished wood frame with shaped top and carved crest and decoration to the corners. Height 184 cm. Width 130 cm. Depth 8 cm

A pair of Louis XV style carved giltwood mirrors, French 19th century, 140 cm high, 95 cm wide

An impressive Louis XVI carved, painted & gilded mirror, circa 1785, 220 cm high, 100 cm wide

Restored French Napoleon III mirror, black and gilt trim, approx. 133 cm x 88 cm

A pair of fancy 19th century French gilt plaster girandole wall mirrors, each with a central bevelled oval mirror flanked by display sconces, another above, elaborate swags and leaf detail, an angel decorated bracket below supporting the four scrolling arm

A peach and clear glass wall mirror, French circa 1940, 67 cm high, 54.5 cm wide

A fine quality powder blue and gilt gesso rectangular wall mirror French, circa 1925 161 cm long, 86 cm wide

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

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

A gilt metal sunflower form wall mirror French, circa 1950 diameter 86-90 cm

Antique French gilt surround mirror, the crest in relief with a female mask with scrolling foliage and leaves, approx 172 cm high, 92 cm wide

Antique 19th century French gilt surround mirror, shaped large 'C' scroll crest, standing approx 182 cm high, 112 cm wide

Antique French giltwood and gesso cushion mirror, fitted with scrolling foliage to the crest, approx 120 cm high, 76 cm wide

Impressive antique French tall trumeau giltwood mirror, oval painted top panel with 18th century romantic scene, approx 246 cm high, 121 cm wide

Antique French gilt surround cushion mirror, of canted shape, with central floral crest, approx 111 cm high, 91 cm long

A French walnut rectangular wall mirror with carved floral decoration above. 150 cm high, 100 cm wide

A 19th century French Louis XV style gilt overmantel mirror. 164 cm high, 106 cm wide

A giltwood over-mantel mirror surmounted with a coat of arms, ribbon and harebells, French, late 19th century, 180 cm high, 106 cm wide

A gilt wood over-mantel mirror with applied central oval panel surmounted by pierced acanthus leaf motif, French, 20th century, 150 x 88 cm

Antique French Gilt and black painted mirror, Napoleon III period, approx 137 cm x 80 cm

A Louis XV style foliate decorated composit over-mantel mirror. 164 cm x 110 cm

Fine antique 19th century French pier mirror, painted surround with applied giltwood decoration, the mirror with applied draped swags of flowers, giltwood frame with rope twist flowers, 191 cm high, 116 cm wide approximately.

Fine antique French gilt surround mirror, scrolling pierced crest, flanked by scrolling flower heads and foliage, the sides with applied rope twist garlands of flowers, 164 cm high, 100 cm wide

Fine antique French gilt surround mirror, the crest showing a C scroll cartouche with painted ruins in a landscape with figures in the foreground, signed C Macnifn?