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 very fine parcel-gilt cut glass wall mirror, Venetian, circa 1900, etched and carved with silver and gold glass flowers and scrolls, 119 cm high, 67 cm wide

A gilded overmantel mirror, decorated wiht floral motifs, French, mid 19th century, 188 cm high, 120 cm wide

Brian Barrow (Australian), monumental Regency style giltwood convex mirror, surmounted by a neoclassical trophy and flanked by three branch candelabra, height 184 cm width 134 cm. Provenance: collection of George and Adisa Pompei, Sydney

Antique French gilt mirror, cushion design, griffins and cornucopia to top pelmet with a Loire Salamander in a cartouche to top, 140 cm high, 78 cm wide

A carved giltwood overmantle mirror, French, 19th century, 157 cm high, 118 cm wide

A George III carved giltwood over mantel mirror, late 18th century, the rectangular shaped plate surmounted by a vase of flowers supporting laurels flanked by further vases, 90 x 116 cm

George III walnut mirror, Chippendale period with cross mouldings and gilt inner frame, 89 cm x 49 cm

Antique French gilt surround, mirror, the crest with two winged putti, 187 cm high, 100 cm wide

A giltwood and gesso mirror, English 19th century, mounted with a central pierced floral trophy and carved frame throughout, 102 cm high 60 cm wide

A Japanned black and gilt pier mirror, England, 19th century, 113 x 45 cm

A George III giltwood circular convex mirror, with two scroll candle branches and surmounted by an eagle, circa 1800, 97 x 63 cm

A large carved giltwood over mantel mirror, 19th century, 222 cm x 172 cm

A Regency gilt wood pier mirror, English, circa 1820, with moulded and applied ball surround, 157 cm high, 161 cm wide

A Louis XV style carved giltwood salon mirror, 155 x 87 cm

Victorian gilt framed over mantle mirror, 126 cm wide, 80 cm high, purchased 1.11.95 Lindfield Antiques $1000, receipt verso

George III Chippendale period walnut mirror, with carved 'Ho-Ho' bird, cross grain moulding, gilt inner frame, star burst ebony and boxwood inlay, circa 1770;91 cm x 51 cm

Antique 19th century French oval gilt mirror, displaying a pierced floral crest, approx 118 cm x 84 cm

A French early 19th century painted and gilded mirror having flowers in basket and gilded oval medallion, 210 cm high, 125 cm wide

A French 19th century gilt wood mirror, 167 cm high, 112 cm wide

A George III mahogany and gilded decorated wall mirror, 108 cm high, 55 cm wide

A pair of gilt wood pier glass mirrors, first half of the19th century, finely decorated with flower pods and acanthus leaves, 110 cm high, 66 cm wide

A finely carved oval giltwood salon mirror, English, late 18th/early 19th century, 158 cm high, 103 cm wide

Antique French 19th century canted top gilt wood mirror, applied swags of bell flowers, each approx 183 cm high, 120 cm wide

Antique 19th century French giltwood & gesso mirror, approx 154 cm x 94 cm

Impressive large antique French gilt framed mirror, applied chains of flower heads, pierced scrolling crest, approx 228 cm x 127 cm

A Louis XV style gilt metal marble top console and mirror, 20th century, the console 81 cm high, 86 cm wide, 35 cm deep

Large 19th century gilt framed console mirror with cherub decoration 168 x 83 cm wide

A walnut framed pier glass mirror, with bevelled edge and gilded decoration. Height 117 cm, width 50.5 cm

Monumental Louis Phillippe gilt-wood mirror, c. 1880, the oval frame surmounted by a crest carved with foliate, height 198 cm width 133 depth 13.5 cm. Provenance: The Country Trader. Private collection, 54 Park Street Spa, Sydney,

Napoleon III style gilt overmantel mirror, mid-20th century, surmounted by cherubs and female mask amidst foliage, height 185 cm width 100 cm

An antique Empire style gilt mantel mirror, the rectangular mirror with an arching profile and floral crest, with bead and ribbon twist borders to the frame, length 180 cm, width 128 cm

A Louis XV style gilded cushion-front mirror, 20th century, 152 cm high, 92 cm wide

A large Art Nouveau style gilt wood mirror, 106 cm high, 138 cm wide

A Louis XV style gilded salon mirror, 20th century, 126 cm high, 61 cm wide

A large carved gilt wood overmantel mirror, 19th century, 150 cm high, 118 cm wide

Fine antique French gilt surround trumeau mirror, fitted with a rectangular panel above, figures in an outdoor scene with farm animals, approx 200 cm high, 90 cm wide

Early gilt wood framed mirror. Scrollwork mounts. Height 153 cm, Wt. 84 cm

An impressive gilt rectangular bevelled mirror, in excellent condition, 102 x 97 cm