This mirror was purchased a few years back, and due to its size and weight, and difficulty in handling, it was worked on in fits and starts.
My guess is that this is 1930s vintage. These late mirrors are usually weak and not substantial, but this one was heavy and bold looking, approximately 36" high, 28" wide. Unlike traditional wood/gesso, the eagle and perch are solidly cast.
When it arrived it had breaks and a few losses to the side garlands, some missing spherules, and was of course, covered in "radiator paint", which was likely its original finish.
The remaining spherules were metal with a brass finish, and had badly tarnished, so I knew I would be making replacements.
|How it arrived|
|Gummy green bronze paint - Yum!|
The first steps were to strip the finish and take care of breaks and missing pieces. It began to look better to me with the finish stripped. I was debating whether to gild, or perhaps paint it white or gray. I had leeway since it wasn't a period mirror.
|Once stripped, repairs can begin.|
|Gesso day (note new spherules)|
|I liked it so much in white gesso, I was tempted to leave it that way.|
Once I had a coat or two of gesso on it, I decided to gild at least parts of it. Then as I went along, I decided it would be totally gilt, and finished to look older than it is.