As you’ve guessed by now, I love anything vintage or antique, and one of my passions is for antique mirrors. In this article, I’m going to discuss everything to do with these stunning pieces of art from their history, types, beauty, origins and the fact that antique mirrors can transform a room’s style instantly. In a home with a Victorian décor, these glamorous mirrors can fill space and make other accessories do double-duty and come to life.
Your bedroom, bathroom, living room and even your kitchen can benefit from their decorative features as well as add extra light and a touch of panache and flair. You can capture the beauty of an era when elegance and workmanship weren’t just a passing thing, but rather; a part of a culture that embraced quality and craftsmanship as the standard by which the world judge the artisans. So, here we go into the wonderful world of antique mirror:
By knowing a bit about the history of antique mirrors, you’ll be better equipped in determining its age and worth before you consider purchasing.
Mirrors date back to the Romans and the Middle Ages when they were nothing more than a round piece of metal that was slightly curved and polished to reflect light. Before then, shiny, polished stones were used for reflection.
During the 12th century, Venetians perfected the process of making mirrors by backing a piece of glass with a metallic material, which was usually tin or mercury. Then, by the time the 16th century came rolling around, Venice became the center of mirror production. At the time, mirrors were both very expensive and luxury items for only the wealthy; however, in 1835, Justus von Liebig discovered the chemical process of coating glass with metallic silver. This revolutionary discovery led the way to manufacturing mirrors on a wide-scale basis. It also ended the dangerous practice of using deadly mercury in the production of mirrors.
Types of Antique Mirrors:
When you stop to think about it, you might be amazed at the many different kinds of antique mirrors that are available today because so many flooded the market during the manufacturing revolution. You might also be surprised to know that some of the earliest antique mirrors were hand-held mirrors, but aside from these beautiful specialties, there are thousands of types, designs, and sizes that can be used in so many unique and different ways.
Have you ever been in a majestic hotel lobby where a magnificent large antique mirror has been set as a focal point or over a large, grand fireplace? I have, and they take my breath away because their brilliance enhances the other great pieces of furniture for having a distinctly regal visual appeal that is an integral part of the whole dramatization.
I know people who would rather have a stunning, reflective antique mirror than an antique painting because they can buy so much more with a mirror. Even the top of the line antique mirrors sell for a fraction of an antique painting by a reputable artist.
Interior designers can accomplish incredible feats with antique mirrors that are strategically placed in a home or commercial establishment. Not only do these impressive mirrors make a room look larger through their reflection, they are used to disperse light evenly and efficaciously throughout a room.
In addition to the beauty, elegance and superb workmanship of antique mirrors that we have come to love and appreciate, many have practical uses, such as a tri-fold dressing mirror in a bedroom or an exquisite makeup mirror that adorns a beauty table.
Once you become more familiar with antique mirrors, you will be able to determine their country of origin and distinguish in which period they were constructed. As an example, the mirrors from France differ considerably from either the mirrors of England or Italy. These three countries manufactured the most desired antique mirrors which were produced from the 1850s to 1900s. Although other countries, like Spain produced antique mirrors in different periods, I personally think that the last half of the 19th century produced the most beautiful mirrors that most people could afford.
Until next time, happy bargain shopping