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

An Italian hand gilded hall mirror, early 20th century. 120 x 101 cm

A Chippendale style pierced and carved hall mirror. 125 cm high, 72 cm wide

A petite late 18th century Venetian mirror, painted in the Chinoiserie style in parcel gilt and vermillion. The rococo shield shaped carved frame surmounted by floral and cloud form pediments. 66.5 cm x 45 cm. Along with an associated mahogany, lead weight

A hall mirror with ornately carved timber frame 51 x 88 cm

A Victorian cast iron hall stand the pierced back cast with mask heads and anthemion roundels centred by a mirror, above two umbrella stands with drip trays and a marble top drawer, two Victorian registration stamps to the reverse, 221 cm high.

An Aesthetic movement ebonised hall mirror with stylised painted panels, multiple bevelled mirror plates and open shelves, raised on a plinth base, 136.5 x 304 x 43.5 cm.

A carved giltwood hall mirror, late 19th century. 104 x 60 cm

Arts & Crafts circular hall mirror c.1900's, pewter with glazed ceramic ruskin style cabochons diameter: 34.5 cm

A twelve point star mirror by Christopher hall, Istanbul 46 cm wide

A six point inner star mirror by Christopher hall, Istanbul

A star mirror by Christopher hall, Istanbul with pointed square edge 46 cm wide

Venetian style hall mirror, with etched design and applied glass flowers, 139 x 72 cm

A 19th century French gilt wood hall mirror, the oval plate within a foliate carved surround. Height 54 cm

A late 19th century hanging decorative hall mirror, with incised and ebonised gilt patterned frame, and gilt brass fitting to hold a gas bracket, the arched mirror decorated with a border of convex reducing roundels. Height 69 cm. Width 37 cm