Mirrors

The antique mirrors in this collection consist of large vintage mirrors and gold or gilt framed mirrors with old glass. Old glass refers to antique mirror glass that overtime has worn in places leaving a mottled bronze marble effect. Our mirrors consist of new plate where need be and vintage plate, we love the mottled mirror look here at Elsie Wolfe Wondrous Antiques.

The first glass mirrors, appearing in the Neolithic period in Turkey, America, and other places as far back as 6000 BC, consisted of obsidian, a naturally occurring black glass. When this material was honed carefully into a flat, polished surface, it provided a dark and haunting vision of the self. In the Roman era, man-made glass was extensively developed within a huge industry that spanned the Empire. Despite being competent in many sophisticated techniques, it appears that the Romans, experimenting with glass and lead, were only able to produce very small crude mirrors.

Over seven thousand years after the invention of the first obsidian mirror, the next technical development in glass mirror-making finally emerged just before the Renaissance during the resurgence of the glass industry in the West. By the fourteenth century CE, convex mirrors of relatively clear glass and significant in scale began to be made in a variety of European locations.

By 1800 mirrors with frames were important decorative pieces. Some frames were made of silver, gold leaf, ivory or tortoiseshell, veneered with expensive woods or covered in needlework or beads. Carved wooden frames were made to match other household decorations, and soon a mirror over the mantel was almost required. Because glass was the expensive part of any mirror, the old glass was often used in a new frame when redecorating. By the 19th century, a mirror was no longer a luxury. Mirrors were built into pieces of furniture, such as wardrobes and wall-mounted candleholders, and were hung on the wall to make a room look larger.