Relevant categories: Mirrors
( Above Photo: Pair Gothic Mirrors Oak Overmantle Antique )
As the name suggests, Gilt mantle mirrors have gold-layered frames and are for hanging over the mantle. They are large and can either sit on top of the mantel or hang on the wall. The mirror's high decorative value can transform a room and act as an apt focal point.
Another thing about gilt mantle mirrors is that they can enlarge space and enhance the lighting in an otherwise dark room. Historically, they came from different eras and were created by various artists. Here are some of the most common gilt mirror styles you may find in antique stores today:
( Above Photo: Rococo Giltwood Mantle Mirror Chippendale )
When the rococo style emerged in France, rococo mirrors first appeared in the 1730s. The ornate style was a replacement for the baroque style, which had dominated much of the 17th century. Rococo gilt mantle mirrors come with heavy gilded plaster frames. The decorations used on the frames include leaf or floral motifs, shells, etc.
During the late Georgian period, mirrors had a simpler framework design compared to rococo and even the latter Victorian mirrors. Regency gilt mantle mirrors from this period often have rectangular or square frames. The decorations on these frames are often wreaths, scrolls, and other neoclassical motifs. However, the decorations are not as elaborately carved as before.
( Above Photo: French Art Nouveau Gilt Mirror Mantle Mirrors )
Chippendale gilt mantle mirrors appeared on the scene just before Regency mirrors. They got the name from Thomas Chippendale (1718 to 1779), a famous furniture maker. Chippendale gilt mantel mirrors' framework was more straightforward than the previous rococo period. Artisans opted for dark wood like cherry or mahogany for the frames. They carved delicate decorations and sometimes applied a gold layer.
Even though gilt mantle mirrors had been popular in the previous periods, their production increased significantly during the Victorian period (1837-1901). Mirrors from that period had heavy carvings of bold details with details from previous periods. The chosen materials for Victorian gilt mantle mirrors were walnut or mahogany. Most mirror frames are gilded to give them a uniquely beautiful look.
( Above Photo: Regency Mirror Gilt Overmantle Mirrors Rococo )
The art nouveau movement sprang in the late 19th century and blossomed in the early 20th century. Many furniture pieces are mirrors that were created during this period. Artisans at this time favored motifs depicting natural elements such as plants and animals. Apart from the motifs, the mirror frames had soft flowing lines.
Hot in the heals of the art nouveau movement came art deco, known for its simplicity and elegance. In the late 1920s, the world was transitioning between the old and the new, and artists sought a refreshing way to put across their ideas. From this period, the gilt mantle mirrors had straight lines, symmetrical shapes, angular shales, and minimal details. Of course, some of the mirrors made at this time were gilded.
Gilt mantle mirrors are available in various styles, depending on the period when they were made. Even imitation mirrors are based on particular periods in history. You can choose to buy one from any of the periods discussed above.
Regency Mirror Gilt Overmantle...
Pair Gothic Mirrors Oak Overma...
French Art Nouveau Gilt Mirror...
Rococo Giltwood Mantle Mirror ...
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