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 Regence style carved giltwood over mantle mirror, late 19th/early 20th century, 188 cm high, 123 cm wide

A gilt wood over mantle mirror with central pierced floral motif, French, 18th century, 120 cm high, 64 cm wide

A Louis XVI gilt wood over mantle mirror, with central urn decoration and applied flower pods, French, 18th century, 110 cm high, 70 cm wide

An important gilt wood over mantle mirror, French, early 18th century, with central acanthus leaf motif flanked by ho-ho birds and embellished with central coat of arms, original plate, 180 cm high, 93 cm wide

A gilt wood over mantle mirror, French, 18th century, embellished with scrolling acanthus leaves and central floral bouquet, original plate, 120 cm high, 68 cm wide

A gilt wood and gesso over mantle mirror with central ribbon and flower pod mount, French, 19th century, 122 cm high, 78 cm wide

A George III mahogany and gilt-wood wall mirror surmounted by a carved gilt Ho-Ho bird, 90 cm high, 49 cm wide. The Estate of Stanley Crawford Stevens.

A rococo style giltwood framed wall mirror, with a foliate pierced and carved surround

A 19th century gilt gesso on wood wall mirror of French Louis XV style, with a slightly arched leaf, shell and scroll pediment and a wide bevelled edge. Width 110 cm, height 165 cm

A French rococo revival gilded mantle mirror, circa 1880-90s, the arching mirror with a bevelled glass, having a floral encrusted frame and a rocaille crest. Height 156 cm. Width 103 cm

An Egyptian revival painted and gilt over mantel mirror, English, circa 1900, 260 cm high, 154 cm wide, 8.5 cm deep

A large Louis XV style carved giltwood over mantel mirror, 19th century, 156 x 87 cm

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

A gilt framed over mantel mirror, English, 19th century, 155 cm high, 118 cm wide

An antique Georgian timber wall mirror, 18th century, the rectangular mirror set within a timber frame with Chippendale style shaped timber decoration to the upper and lower section, with an applied shell and spread wing bird motif to the crest; the revers

A Victorian gilt over mantle mirror, 19th century. an arched mirror in a timber and gesso frame with gadroon and beaded detailing having a shield style crest with flora and shells, and with the original glass. Height 170 cm. Width 114 cm

An ebonised gilt mantle mirror, late 19th century, the rectangular mirror of Louis XVI inspiration with extended corners and decorated with rope twist trims, beading, star paterae and applied husk motifs, surmounted by an ornate pierced rocaille crest. Hei

A ornately carved Italian wooden and gilded wall mirror. 180x87 cm.

A French rectangular ornately decorated giltwood wall mirror. 122x63 cm

An ornately carved Italian wooden and gilded wall mirror. 148x80 cm.

A Chinoiserie black lacquer arched wall mirror, French, circa 1920, 98 cm high, 46 cm wide

A wall mirror, landscape with bevelled edge mirror, flanked by two carved panels. Height 43 cm, width 92.5 cm

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

Continental style ceramic framed wall mirror. Provision for candles. Figure decorated. Some small losses. 84 x 43 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.

A late Victorian overmantel mirror, rectangular plate surmounted by carved foliate, within a carved border, 173 cm high, 140 cm wide

A Continental rococo style giltwood wall mirror, c.1900 with later mirror. Height 130 cm. Width 72 cm

A large Venetian over-mantel mirror of rectangular form surmounted with a central acanthus leaf motif, early 20th century, 140 cm high, 90 cm wide

A Venetian over-mantel mirror of rectangular form with applied central oval panel, early 20th century, 98 cm high, 66 cm wide

A Continental giltwood over-mantel mirror with applied acanthus leaf decoration throughout, 20th century, 139 x 84 cm

A Victorian rectangular gilt wood over-mantel mirror, 90 x 75 cms

A Victorian rectangular mahogany wall mirror with carved gadrooned frieze, 120 x 51 cm

A rectangular wall mirror in gilt wooden frame, 88 x 63 cm