A superbly carved and highly decorative large Florentine carved giltwood mirror, circa 1780 in date.
This mirror consists of a superbly carved gilt wooden frame with a beaded border with scrolling acanthus leaf decoration interspersed with grotesque winged male masques.
It is certain to make a charming addition to that one special room in your home.
In excellent original condition with original gilding, please see photos for confirmation of condition.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 145 x Width 119 x Depth 5
Dimensions in inches:
Height 57.1 x Width 46.9 x Depth 2.0
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: 08677