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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Antique early 19th century French Louis XVI mirror, painted and gilt wood, bird feeding the young to the crest centre

Large antique French gilt surround mirror, approx 185 cm high, 117 cm wide

Large antique French gilt surround mirror, approx 208 cm high, 130 cm wide

Antique French gilt surround cushion mirror, approx 183 cm high, 109 cm wide

Antique French Louis XVI style mirror, giltwood and painted reserves, with central oval portrait miniature of a young lady, approx 76 cm high, 47 cm wide

Antique French gilt wood surround mirror, double C scroll crest, approx 98 cm x 68 cm

Antique French gilt surround mirror of waisted shape, with pierced foliate crest, approx 134 cm high, 89 cm wide

Fine antique French gilt surround mirror, approx 150 cm x 95 cm wide

Large oval gilt mirror, scrolling crest with central mask head, approx 193 cm high, 138 cm wide

Impressive Italian Florentine giltwood cushion mirror, approx 118 cm high, 182 cm wide

A carved round giltwood wall mirror, French, 19th century, 60 cm diameter

A large decorative giltwood wall mirror French, 19th century, 195 cm high, 113 cm wide

A Louis XVI giltwood wall mirror, French, 18th century, 92 cm high, 53 cm wide

A fine pair of giltwood and floated glass oval wall mirrors, Italian 18th century, 82.5 cm long, 49 cm wide

An exceptional giltwood Chinoiserie wall mirror, English, 18th century, 125 cm high, 64 cm wide

Rare antique 19th century gilt mirror with laurel crest surrounding an armorial of axes and helmet, (.127) 83 x 49 cm The Crest Phrygian - Cap of liberty and Fasces axes bundle wrapped in rods. Symbolism of the French revolution. The laurel wreath is emble

A pair of Burmese lidded ceremonial bowls with tall finials, 19th/20th century, elaborately decorated in lacquer & gilt with foil backed mirror glass, height 35 cm

A giltwood circular mirror surmounted with an eagle and laurel leaves, English, 19th century, 70 cm high

Girandole mirror. Round convex mirror in gilt frame, with four branch candle sconces, (some loss)

A large French giltwood Bijouterie case, with an elaborately carved frame raise on four reeded tapering legs joining to a cross base. Electrified. 80 x 132 x 45 cm.

A pair of Venetian side mirrors, gilded frames with shell carved tops, some faulty., length 72 cm, width 36 cm.

A fine Venetian overmantle mirror, original gilt on bolection moulded frame with foliate wreath to top and acanthus mounted base. C. 1850. Height 176 cm, width 121 cm.

Large gilt frame mirror, surmounted by the motto of the order of the garter, English, early 19th century, 198 cm high, 156 cm wide

Gilt frame mirror, Italian, 18th century, 52 cm high, 52 cm wide, 12 cm deep

Fine quality 19th century French giltwood and gesso overmantel mirror

A rococo style gilt timber framed rectangular mirror, 107 x 71 cm

A Louis XV style giltwood hall mirror, 20th century, 110 cm high, 80 cm wide

A small giltwood mirror, 20th century, 72 x 54 cm

A pair of finely pierced and carved gilt wood girandoles, in the Georgian style, late 19th century, 95 cm high, 50 cm wide

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 small pierced gilt wood mirror, French, early 18th century, with central floral motif, original plate, 75 cm high, 45 cm wide

An oval gilt metal mounted mirror, French, circa 1920, 50 cm high, 43 cm wide