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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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

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

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

George I style walnut and parcel gilt mirror, with shell cresting and hidden shelf, height 103 cm width 48 cm

A substantial carved oak framed wall mirror, in the rococo style, the segmented rectangular plate with a boldly carved foliate surround, 188 x 147 cm

A Louis XV style giltwood salon mirror, French 19th century, with applied floral motifs, surmounted with a central vase flanked by putti, 215 x 132 cm

A Louis XV style large carved and gilded oak over mantel mirror, with central shell motif flanked by flower pods and acanthus leaves, 222 x 135 cm

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

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

A Trumeau mirror in Louis XV style, with a painted panel of 18th century figures above a rectangular plate within a gilt frame surmounted with carved ribbon decoration, 120 cm high, 61 cm wide

Vintage giltwood sectional period style mirror, approx 110 cm high, 66 cm wide

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

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

A Louis XV carved gilt wood mirror, French, 18th century, 122 cm high, 72 cm wide

A Louis XV carved gilt wood mirror, 18th century, 70 cm high, 46 cm wide

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 Chippendale style gilt wood oval mantel mirror, 19th century, 106 x 130 cm

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

An Empire style gilt framed mirror, French, 19th century, 137 cm high, 89 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 Louis XV style giltwood console mirror with carved foliate frame. 106xm high, 80 cm wide.

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