Antique mirrors come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Some are wooden, some are metallic, and some are even framed in gold plated materials. Choosing an antique mirror can be harder than choosing a new mirror due to the huge range of options out there. Antique mirrors can usually be identified as belonging to a distinct class of design or art, or as coming from a specific culture.
What makes antique mirrors special?
The most distinctive feature of antique mirrors is their high quality design and manufacturing. In the past, a much greater emphasis was placed on the use of high quality materials. This fact, combined with the superior handcraftsmanship used on antique mirrors means that they usually have intricate details, beautiful designs, and instil a feeling of glamour and class.
A brief history of antique mirrors:
Mirrors have been used by different cultures for thousands of years. However, mirror making didn’t arise as a serious craft until the 15th or 16th century, when Venetian glass blowers developed a new mirror making technique. This involved the use of plate glass backed with mercury to create the mirror itself. Following this development, the craft of mirror making exploded.
Venetian mirrors have traditionally been the most popular and admired of antique mirrors, and have been used as a symbol of wealth and status throughout Europe. In the 17th century, the secret of mirror making was leaked to the French and the English. Most antique mirrors, therefore, come from France, England, or Venice.
Using antique mirrors in your modern home:
Although they may be old, and were designed without modern principles or techniques in mind, antique mirrors can be easily used in a modern home. They can be incorporated into your interior design scheme to give a vintage feel, and can actually go very well with modern, minimalistic designs. Think about the following things when adding an antique mirror to your home:
- Don’t make the mirror stand out as the focal point or main object in the room. Instead, allow it to blend in with more modern elements, contrasting and complementing it with other objects.
- Make sure that you match the colours properly. If you don’t, then you may end up with a beautiful antique mirror looking ugly and misplaced.
- Make it useable. Don’t hang your antique mirror somewhere where it serves no purpose and isn’t functional. Justify its inclusion by placing it somewhere where it can be used and appreciated every day.