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Mirror Mirror on the Wall – we have the fairest of them all!

The Decorative Fair is renowned for the fantastic array of vintage and antique mirrors offered by exhibitors, across all disciplines and periods. They are amongst the most popular items sold at the fair.

 Ornate and extravagant rococo style girandoles (mirrors with candleholders)

Ornate and extravagant rococo style girandoles (mirrors with candleholders)

Mirrors for sale date back to the late 17th century, when cushion-framed examples, veneered in walnut, were the fashion. Early Georgian designs include simple carved vertical wooden frames in walnut or mahogany, sometimes with a touch of gilded decoration such as a small shell motif. Mid-18th century mirrors in the ornately carved rococo and gilded neo-classical styles were continuously popular throughout the Victorian and Edwardian eras, so the later examples in these styles will come with a more affordable price tag than the earlier Georgian ones.

LV-Art-and-Design-Paolo-Buffa-console-and-1950s-mirror

Paolo Buffa console & 1950s mirror, from L & V art & Design

Mirrors come in every size, from vast over-mantels and pier glasses (originally designed to hang between a pair of windows, and thus designed to scale) to small sunbursts and intricately-bordered, delicate table-top Venetian styles with their plain or coloured mirrored borders. Circular mirrors first became fashionable in the late Georgian and Regency periods, and come decorated with gilded spheres or grandly eagle-topped. These can make a lovely decorative effect when collected in different sizes and grouped together on a wall.

Antique Venetian carved & gilded starburst mirror

Antique Venetian carved & gilded starburst mirror

Copper repoussé work was an Arts & Crafts design development: with copper and other warm-coloured metals being the height of fashion right now, why not find an original, one-off, circa 1900 design to take home?

Industrial-themed vintage mirrors have been a major trend at the fairs for some years: giant circular convex mirrors used on the railways, antique window frames re-purposed as large-scale mirrors for use indoors or out, even mirrors made from aeronautical components can be found!  And of course chic and plain 20th century designs with narrow metal borders, or incorporating etched or painted designs within the mirror, work beautifully in any type of interior.

Antique Venetian mirror with coloured glass decoration & etched design

Antique Venetian mirror with coloured glass decoration & etched design

Antique Venetian mirror with applied glass decoration

Antique Venetian mirror with applied glass decoration

Ornate and extravagant rococo style girandoles (mirrors with candleholders)