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 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

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

Shell wall mirror, rectangular frame decorated with assorted white shells, height 75 cm width 60 cm

Exquisite ornate overmantel mirror decorated with shell, 'C' scroll work and beaded border frame

A large painted oval overmantel mirror, 19th century, 186 cm high x 138 cm wide

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

An Italian wall mirror. The mirror of tapering rectangular form with a pair of United putti upon a cornice above a shaped pediment, the stepped upper section of the frame flanked by applied fantastic heads and encrusted throughout with flowers and fruits i

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

Overmantle mirror, with carved wooden frame. Some damage. Height 1780 width 90 cm. Provenance: from Mollies Boutique hotel, Auckland

Impressive overmantle mirror, with urn and architectural pediment above a pierced foliate frieze and engaged columns. Height 170 x width 125 cm. Provenance: from Mollies Boutique Hotel, Auckland

Overmantle mirror, with decorative gilt and white painted decoration. Height 1750 width 110 cm. Provenance: from Mollies Boutique hotel, Auckland

Gilt framed over mantle mirror, with ribbon pediment. Height 1,600 width 1,200. Provenance: from Mollies Boutique hotel, Auckland

Gilt framed over mantle mirror, the frieze decorated in low relief with a hunting scene. Length 1,20 cm. Provenance: from Mollies Boutique hotel, Auckland

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 very large giltwood sunburst wall mirror, Italian, circa 1950

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

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

An impressive Griffin and moon crescent overmantel mirror. 122 cm high, 170 cm wide

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 surrounded with floral etched panels and surmounted with central carved mount, English, 19th century, 155 x 105 cm

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