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Home » How can I tell the age of an antique mirror?

How can I tell the age of an antique mirror?

Mirrors have been used by people in some form or another for over 8000 years. The first mirrors were made of obsidian or volcanic glass. Examples of them have been found by archaeologists from what is today modern-day Turkey. Mirrors made of iron were used by people from the ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and China and the first mirrors that used metal-backed glass were made in Lebanon around the beginning of the century. Even though they are fragile the majority of antique mirrors that date back to the 17th century remain in use to this day. This could be because mirrors were considered valuable objects and were, as such frequently well-maintained and passed down as valuable antiques.

What are the different kinds of antique mirrors?

Mirrors that are handheld

In all time mirrors have been utilized for both symbolic reasons and practical reasons. In the places occupied through the Silk Road, handheld mirrors were utilized for rituals and funerary ceremonies, as well as various kinds of entertainment. Mirrors of the beginning were hand-held and it’s not surprising that mirrors with portable handles remain popular throughout time, from early glass mirrors equipped with handles utilized for people of the Romans to the aesthetically pleasing small mirrors worn on the shoulders of Victorian ladies.

Table for dressing or “toilet” mirrors

It is believed that dress tables were initially employed by the old Egyptians but they were a sought-after piece that furniture was coveted by wealthy Europeans in the 1600s when carpenters from Italy and France started producing designs with the mirror inside. One of the most famous examples is the table created by Jean-Francois-Oeben that was designed for Madame of Pompadour. Mirrors that were freestanding, made to sit on top of an dressing table were popular during the late 17th century. They were also referred to as toilet mirrors. they were usually made of dark wood, and some even had the storage of a small drawer that could be used to store items for toiletries or jewelry.

Cheval mirrors

The name is derived from the French word meaning horse, because they sit on four legs. cheval mirrors are in essence an extension of the bathroom mirror. The majority of them are full-length. These ornate yet practical mirrors were first made in Paris and began to gain popularity in late in the nineteenth century. Mirrors made of cheval from the Victorian period are typically made using walnut or mahogany and generally have a robust wooden frame, with carved details. Art Deco cheval mirrors, however will likely have frames that are thinner or even no frame altogether – as well as a frame made of a single solid piece of wood.

Mirrors for walls

In the late 1700s, massive wall mirrors were the popular. British factories in the 1700s could not make large mirrors, and which is why when a glass tax hindered the importation of mirrors for walls from France, British manufacturers instead began to use small pieces of glass in a single frame making it appear as the appearance of a larger mirror. The beginning into the nineteenth century, the smaller mirrors for walls became popular as convex mirrors were an integral part of many high-end dining rooms. They were utilized by butlers to observe how meals were going without disrupting the guests. It is today accessible to buy antique wall mirrors dating from those of the Victorian and Georgian period and mirrors made by styles like the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.

What can I do to determine the vintage of a mirror that is antique by its style and appearance?

It is usually possible to have a clear idea of the time period of a mirror by focusing on its design attributes. Here we will discuss some of the main design elements of mirrors that were made beginning in the 1700s to the present.


Also known as ‘late baroque Also known as ‘late Baroque’, the Rococo style was popular around the time of the 1730s. Rococo mirrors are massive frames, which are often constructed of gold-colored plaster. The elaborate designs of the period usually include natural shapes like flowers, shells or shell patterns.

English Regency

Mirrors from the late-Georgian Regency period (1811-1820) are more simple in appearance in comparison to the Victorian counterparts. The antique gilt mirrors typically include rectangular or square columns. Similar to other pieces of furniture made during the time, Regency mirrors are often decorated with neoclassical themes like wreaths or scrolls.


The mirrors were made in the 18th century the antique mirrors get names from renowned furniture manufacturer Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779). Chippendale-style mirrors generally have frames made of dark woods, like cherry or mahogany, and are decorated with intricate carvings.


When it comes to huge antique mirrors, a large quantity were created during the Victorian period (1837-1901). Mirrors made during this time tend to be heavily carved with large details, and sometimes with styles copied from earlier periods. Victorian mirrors were usually made of woods such as walnut or mahogany and many were gilded.

Art Nouveau

Inspired by nature Mirrors that are influenced by nature Art Nouveau style (1890-1910) have soft lines and are adorned with elegant motifs that depict wildlife and flora.

Art Deco

Glamorous and stylish Mirrors that are glamorous and deco Art Deco style of the 1920s usually consist of symmetrical, angular forms with simple lines and little detail.

How much will antique mirrors cost?

It’s not easy to give an estimate of the amount antique mirrors should costsince each mirror is priced individually depending on factors such as its condition, age and the materials used to make it.

What should I look when purchasing antique mirrors?

If you’re looking to shell out a significant sum of money for an older mirror you need to understand exactly what you’re buying. These suggestions will allow you gain an understanding of to estimating the age of a mirror and also attempting to discover the source of its origins.

Make sure you can tell if the glass was originally made or replaced

The glass that’s been changed does not necessarily have a significant impact on an antique mirror’s worth. Mirrors that have the original glass is nevertheless, usually more valuable. If a mirror is still made of its original glass , this could assist in revealing its age . Older glass is generally smaller than contemporary glass and typically has a grey or yellow tone, instead of being colorless. The glass which has been in use for a long period of time is more distinctive, and small imperfections, like small foxing marks, can make it more appealing.

Take a look at the back

The back of a vintage mirror can give more clues about the age of the mirror and its source. There may be an embossed or stamped logo that could help to pinpoint the location of its creation and by who. Mirrors from the past are usually made of wood instead of backing made of paper, which is something worth examining.

Examine for signs of aging

A real antique mirror has always been subject to wear and wear and tear. Be sure to inspect the frame to identify areas of fade or darkening, as for any woodworm or stains. The mirror’s glass will be showing indications of age if it is original. Check for any spots of cloudiness or foxing, as for any chips or scratches in the glass’s surface.

Do your research

If you’ve come across and fallen in the love of the beauty of an old mirror, it could be hard not to purchase it immediately. If you’re looking for antiques however, it is important to do some study. You might want to take a photo of your mirror. Then do some research on its features, and searching for similar models on the internet to make certain that it’s not replicas of modern times.