French Antique Gilt Framed Painted Mirrors

I love working on these mirrors, each piece is unique, I can recreate the lettering but the frames are one off unique finds, I'm happy to source similar but they will always be one of a kind.The history attached to gilt frames and mirrors is fascinating.

The picture frame has evolved through history from a simple raised strip made from the outer edge of a panel painting to the opulent gilded and carved supports of the French Rococo period, the frame was designed to protect and enhance the work it surrounded.

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Recycling is a large part in today’s life and although recycling is thought to be a new thing, there was actually a form of recycling that started in the 18th century. In the 18th century there was a heavy tax on glass coming from abroad and because of the failure of English factories to make large mirror plates that was highly sought after; it dictated the form and development of the mirror being created in Britain at that time.

To avoid the tax and costly import of the larger mirrors from France, old antique mirrors were recycled and larger mirrors were produced by creating frames which held several pieces of glass, this gave the illusion of a single larger mirror. This went on until the late 18th century when far bigger mirrors with much lighter frames were being produced and by the beginning of the 19th century there was a rise in the popularity of small antique mirrors again like the convex mirror. The convex mirror was produced for the dining room and its purpose was for the butler to keep an eye on the progress of a meal without having to move around the room disturbing people dining.

 Convex Mirror, Tara Cole Mirrors, Mirror Blog, Restored Gilt Frames, Hand Painted Mirrors, Gilded Mirrors