Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Another Mirror I Really Didn't Want

Mirror as found

These later version of the classic overmantel mirror were popular between the 1890s and WWI eras. They usually wound up hanging over a sideboard in the dining room if not actually used over a fireplace. They are usually poorly constructed with thin molded ornament. They are also usually deteriorating and not worth taking home, much less restoring. 

I happened across this one, and the price ($10!) was, as they say, right. I didn't really want the frame - I wanted it for the piece of mirror plate in the center section. When I got home with it, I realized that it was more substantial, and of better quality than most of these I run across. The turnings and ornament were fairly robust, and the prints nice copies of early ones. Some areas were water gilt, the rest flash gilded. 

Of course, nothing is perfect. There was a section of rail that sustained damage. I made a mold and cast a replacement. Actually two, since fitting these curved pieces can be tricky, and invariable at least one attempt shatters. Having a backup ensures that the first one will work fine and the second will not be needed.

There will be some gesso fills and touch-ups. I'm also debating replacing the prints with mirror plate. But since it will probably just end up in storage, maybe I'll make that decision later.

Missing section and new casting

Casting fitted into position

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