This is a spectacular antique French Louis Revival giltwood overmantle mirror, circa 1860 in date.
The bevelled rectangular mirror plate is framed with marginal side plates. It has a profusely carved giltwood frame decorated with acanthus leaves and features a beautiful floral, foliate and rocaille cresting with out-set corners.
This beautifulmirror will enhance the look of any room.
In really excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 162 x Width 101 x Depth 12
Dimensions in inches:
Height 63.8 x Width 39.8 x Depth 4.7
Mirrors are commonly used for personal grooming or admiring oneself (in which case the archaic term looking-glass is sometimes still used), decoration, and architecture.
The earliest manufactured mirrors were pieces of polished stone such as obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glass. In classical antiquity, mirrors were made of solid metal (bronze, later silver) and were too expensive for widespread use by common people; they were also prone to corrosion. Due to the low reflectivity of polished metal, these mirrors also gave a darker image than modern ones, making them unsuitable for indoor use with the artificial lighting of the time.
The method of making mirrors out of plate glass was invented by 16th-century Venetian glassmakers on the island of Murano, who covered the back of the glass with mercury, obtaining near-perfect and undistorted reflection. For over one hundred years, Venetian mirrors installed in richly decorated frames served as luxury decorations for palaces throughout Europe, but the secret of the mercury process eventually arrived in London and Paris during the 17th century, due to industrial espionage. French workshops succeeded in large scale industrialization of the process, eventually making mirrors affordable to the masses.
Our reference: 09507