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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

Antique French gilt surround mirror, approx 146 cm high, 87 cm wide

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 French salon mirror, circa 1880, 151 x 118 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

A Louis XV style giltwood console mirror with carved foliate frame. 106xm high, 80 cm wide.

A French rectangular ornately decorated giltwood wall mirror. 122x63 cm