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

Australian Colonial cedar overmantle mirror, c. 1850, of rectangular form, with carved oak leaf tracery against silk lining, original bevelled glass mirror, 67 x 91 cm. Provenance: Marvin Hurnall Antiques, Melbourne. Collection of George and Adisa Pompei,

Small early-19th century Venetian glass framed wall mirror, of shield shape with wheel cut floral sprays moulded glass frill scroll borders, rosette decoration and twin candle sconce, height 40 cm

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

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

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

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

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

A rectangular pierced brass wall bracket mirror with two hinged candle sconces, 40 x 20 cm

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

Vintage ormolu mounted wall mirror, height 94 cm, width 60 cm approx (as inspected)

Venetian glass wall mirror, 19th century, of trefoil shape, with applied opalescent and clear glass leaves and flower heads (A/F), height 120 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 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

A late 19th century ebonized over-mantle mirror with incised gilt decoration, 246 cm high, 146 cm wide

Alarge late Victorian overmantel mirror, the rectangular plate within gilt neo-classical decoration, 186 cm high, 146 cm wide

Antique faux bamboo wall mirror, with BADA seal, height 90 cm, width 61 cm approx., small crack to mirror

Dresden porcelian wall mirror, with cherub and floral decoration, height 100 cm, width 44 cm approx

A verre eglomise rectangular cushion wall mirror Italian, circa 1920, 98.5 cm high, 74 cm wide

An impressive gilt metal flowerhead form circualar wall mirror, 122 cm diameter

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

A large and ornate cut and etched glass oval wall mirror, Venetian, circa 1900, 162 cm high, 104 cm wide

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

A fine pair of giltwood and floated glass oval wall mirrors, Italian 18th century, 82.5 cm long, 49 cm wide

A pair of cut mirror glass and bronze wall lights, Italian, circa 1900, mirror 53 cm high, 25.5 cm wide, 15.5 cm deep

An exceptional giltwood Chinoiserie wall mirror, English, 18th century, 125 cm high, 64 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

Chinoiserie wall mirror, 101 cm high, 55 cm wide approx

A fine Venetian overmantle mirror, original gilt on bolection moulded frame with foliate wreath to top and acanthus mounted base. C. 1850. Height 176 cm, width 121 cm.

Rectangular pine wall mirror, 19th century, 190 cm high, 113 cm wide

Fine quality 19th century French giltwood and gesso overmantel mirror