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 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

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

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

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

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

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

A George I walnut cushion mirror with inlays of sycamore, 45 x 50 cm

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

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

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

An Italian giltwood mirror, 18th/19th century, the original glass plate with scrolling frame, 95 x 157 cm

An 18th century large gilt timber framed mirror, 215 x 109 cm

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 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 large and impressive Spanish gilded and ebonised mirror, 18th century

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

A flamboyant gilt-wood wall mirror, Italian 18th century, 125 cm high, 90 cm wide

George III style stained beech fretwork wall mirror with gilded ho-ho bird cresting

George III walnut fretwork wall mirror the top with applied shell

Georgian gilt mahogany wall mirror. 80 cm high, 45 cm wide

Georgian mahogany wall mirror 90 cm wide, 60 cm high approx. As inspected

A George III carved giltwood gesso oval girandole mirror, 120 cm high, 66 cm wide

A George III carved giltwood girandole mirror, 104 cm high, 65 cm wide

Georgian style wall mirror, 73 cm x 33 cm (frame) approx

English Georgian gilt convex mirror, c.1800 with carved eagle surmounted & rococo decoration

A Georgian style mahogany wall mirror, early 19th century, with bevelled glass mirror framed inside boxwood inlay stringing, and veneered continuous leafy border. The top and bottom mirror decorated with inlay work depicting sea shells. Height 101 cm; widt

A good George III gilt wood wall mirror, English, circa 1760. 116 cm high, 64 cm wide. Provenance: Private Collection, Sydney

George III gilded mahogany wall mirror. Height 97 cm, width 54 cm.

A pair of George III style gilt-wood mirrors, English, late 19th/20th century, 110 x 40 cm

An 18th century giltwood and gesso pier mirror, well-carved frame with rococo surmount. Height 168 cm. Width 52 cm

A Georgian mahogany wall mirror carved pediment restored. Height 95 cm. Width 53.5 cm

George III mahogany fretwork wall mirror with central gilded ho-ho bird and inlaid shell paterae

A George III mahogany and parcel gilt mirror surmounted by ho ho birds

A George III style 19th century gilt wood wall mirror with the rectangular plate within a carved gilt frame with a carved crest. 56 wide