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 vintage Fairground curved novelty wall mirror, of serpentine shape with distorted reflection, cedar frame. Dimensions 83 cm x 0 cm.

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.

Victorian giltwood and gesso overmantel mirror, c. 1860, the rectangular plate contained within a moulded frame with a breakfront architectural cresting centred by a cartouche containing the profile of a gentleman, flanked by acanthus moulded pilasters ter

Elaborately carved colonial kauri wall mirror, with applied foliate scrolling mouldings with shield shaped mirror. 113 cm x 80 cm

An Australian oval leather work wall mirror, 19th century, 80 cm high, 46 cm wide

Regency gilt and composition overmantel mirror, with floral scrolling panel, the rectangular plinth flanked by a pair of plain pilasters with composite capitals with a floral scrolling panel above, 110 cm x 137 cm. Ex Keith Okey collection Sydney Lot 305

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

A carved pine Arts & Crafts wall mirror, c.1900 the frame carved in the arts & crafts/aesthetic design with a central oval silvered glass mirror. Note: with paper label verso: 'Carved by Mrs. T. H. Sharp for Melbourne Exhibition 1904', purchased Gregson's

A Regency overmantel mirror, circa 1820. The upper panel painted with en-grisaille panel of gambolling putti, with reeded cornice and pilaster form gilded gesso frame, 116.5 cm width x 154.5 cm height. Provenance: Purchased from Palmer Antiques, Sydney.

A large cedar over-mantel mirror, Australian, 19th century, 105 cm high, 156 cm wide

Highly decorative carved Australian cedar overmantle mirror with applied mask to crest & scrolling accanthus leaves

A New Zealand colonial mottled kauri wall mirror, oblong shape with deep bevelled edge and short carved and pierced pediment. Width 64 cm, height 84 cm

French 19th century lime washed over-mantle mirror. 210 cm x 124 cm

A cream & gilt painted and relief decorated over-mantel mirror, French 19th century, 220 cm high, 116 cm wide. Provenance: Private Collection, Sydney

An Empire style gilt gesso and green painted over-mantel mirror, French 19th century, 151 cm high x 96 cm wide. Provenance: Private Collection, Sydney

A large and very decorative shell incrusted over-mantel mirror. 193 cm high x 121 cm wide. Provenance: Private Collection, Sydney

A green painted and gilt wood wall mirror, French, 19th century. 200 cm high x 120 cm wide. Provenance. Private Collection Toorak, Melbourne

A carved gilt wood and vernis Martin wall mirror, French, 19th century. 215 cm high, 125 cm wide. Provenance. Private Collection Toorak, Melbourne

A rare red Chinoiserie lacquer wall mirror, English, circa 1700. 104 cm high, 70 cm wide. Provenance: John Dunn Antiques, Melbourne

Heavily carved blackwood overmantle mirror in Prenzel style

Ornately carved huon pine overmantle mirror with decorative flower leaf and kangaroo decoration 156 cm x 156 cm, 19th century

Louis XV style gilt overmantle mirror, 19th century, leaf and berry border surmounted by garlands and a central shield motif. Height 198.5 cm. Width 160 cm. Provenance: Orlando design and Antiques, Mosman. The Estate of a Lady, NSW

A large carved giltwood overmantel mirror, French late 19th century the rectangular bevelled plate within an acanthus carved frame with foliate scroll carved mounts to the base with lions' heads, with a floral carved cornice with a central cartouche, 175 c

A Louis XVI gilt-wood wall mirror, French, 18th century 170 cm high x 75 cm wide. Provenance: John Dunn Antiques, Melbourne

A large carved Australian oak overmantel mirror, early 20th century, the pierced sides encompassing two carved panels of a kookaburra and a crested cockatoo flanking a central mirror. Height 126 cm. Width 136.5 cm. Depth 23 cm

An antique French wall mirror, 150 x 90 cm applied later with a collection of Continental seashells

An early 20th century Australian Colonial oval carved blackwood wall mirror. Possibly Prenzel

A fine and rare fiddle back blackwood rectangular wall mirror, Tasmanian 62 x 92 cm with gilt mount and gilt detail to terminals of split column pilasters. Provenance: Private Collection, NSW

19th century giltwood wall mirror the rectangular frame, recently restored, having applied turned pilasters and foliate carved panels, its original mirror plate surmounted by an eglomise panel of the Capitol building in Washington. Height 106 cm