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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These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

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

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

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,

French Gothic revival cast iron Tracery, 19th century, converted to a mirror, height 174 cm width 100 cm. Provenance: The Country Trader. Private collection, 54 Park Street Spa, Sydney,

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

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

Antique mid 19th century French repousse brass and ebonized slip cushion mirror, approx 138 cm high, 87 cm wide

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

A French rococo revival gilded mantle mirror, circa: 1880s-90s, the arching mirror with a beaded and moulded frame and a rocaille crest, height 156 cm, width 102 cm

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

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

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

A large and finely carved rectangular wall mirror, French, 19th century, 187 cm high, 122 cm wide

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

An unusual cast iron and brass nautical wall mirror, French, 19th century, 36 cm high, 25 cm wide

Philippe Starck (French, b. 1949), Caadre Wall Mirror, designed c. 1998, of rectangular form, with curved glass frame, height 195 cm width 105 cm depth 13 cm

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 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.

Fine quality 19th century French giltwood and gesso overmantel mirror

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

A small brass repousse mirror embellished with shell and floral decoration, French, 19th century, 56 cm high, 33 cm wide