Antique wall mirrors make attractive additions to any indoor living space, whether it has traditional decor or an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary. Combining pleasing, antique form with timeless function, antique mirrors are practical and decorative items, available in a huge range of styles and types. Learning about the options available and what to look for when choosing an antique mirror for your home ensures you get a high-quality model with a long lifespan.
Condition of Antique Wall Mirror Glass
The condition of the glass and the silvering of your antique wall mirror is an important consideration because it impacts the appearance and the practicality of the piece. Antique mirrors often develop a few minor spots and patches of discolouration, or even bubbling, on the silvering, which show from the front of the glass. This can add valuable character to the piece, and is not particularly concerning. However, if the dicolouration and spotting is extensive or impacts the view, you need to decide whether to resilver it. You can get a professional service or resilver yourself. However, the condition of the glass plays a crucial role in the resilvering decision. If the mirror glass has damage, such as scratching or chips, the resilvering process does not cure this problem, and can in fact, make the damage even more obvious. In this case, it is more cost effective to install new, high-quality mirror glass, as this comes with new silvering already in place.
Condition of Antique Wall Mirror Frame
The vast majority of antique mirror frames are wooden, and as they age, the frames can develop issues. Therefore, a thorough inspection is necessary. Look for signs of warping, as this indicates dampened wood, and also puts extra strain on the glass. Check the joins to ensure they are solid and secure. Look for small insect holes which indicate insect infestation from furniture beetles or wood worms. These insects spread rapidly to other wooden furniture and weaken the wood.
Styles of Antique Wall Mirrors
Choose a style or period that suits your tastes. There is an extensive selection of styles to choose from, with something to cater to everyone. Gothic, or medieval gothic, dates from the 12th to the 16th century, and saw a revival during the 19th century, which is known as Victorian gothic. These mirrors usually have orate, dark wood frames, complete with sweeping lines and sharp points. Baroque-style mirrors date from the 17th century and are generally oak or walnut, offering less intricate carvings, but often boasting gilded portions. Rococo wall mirrors date from the early to mid-18th century and feature rectangular shapes with walnut or mahogany construct, overlaid with gold gilt. Victorian wall mirrors from the 19th century feature dark wood, sometimes painted black or white, along with ornate, intricate carvings, and often with gothic form.