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Essential guide to buying antique mirrors

Cleall Antiques is a treasure trove of mirror options from all over the world.
 
Our extensive selection includes large antique mirrors, overmantle mirrors, extra large antique mirrors, landscape, portrait, round and oval mirrors, gilt / painted mirrors, decorative mirrors including decorative crested mirrors and pairs of mirrors for any space in your home. With so many alternatives, you can be spoilt for choice.
How do you go about choosing the right mirror when there is such a wide range of options? We have put together a list of tips to help you buy the right mirror for your home.
 
Since you are looking at antique mirrors, get acquainted with the different styles and periods. This will help narrow down your search. Since every style and period had certain unique features, knowing about the different styles will help you break down the list. 

1. Ascertaining the value is important. The value of an antique (like a used car) is dependent on different aspects like origin, rarity, condition, restoration, repairs etc. Understanding this will help you determine the value better. 

2. When it comes to antiques usually there is a direct correlation between the age of a mirror and its value.

Mass produced items are not valued as highly as handcrafted antique mirrors.
 
Replacement glass is another determinant and does not tend to affect the value a lot unless the new glass is out of keeping or an absolute contrast. However, the original glass in good condition is bound to add to the value. Glass colour indicates the age well, old mirror glass can have a distinctive yellow or grey tone whilst a modern mirror or replacement glass is often clear and colourless.
 
A useful tip while ascertaining the originality of the glass is its thickness. Old glass is very thin, rarely more than 3/16 of an inch while modern glass is 1/4-3/8” thick, nearly double in size. If you want to check the thickness you can simply hold a coin next to the surface of the mirror, and the distance between the reflection and the coin will give you the thickness. 
 
Checking the back of the mirror can give you good clues as to the age. Antique mirrors typically used wood rather than paper backing. The nails, screws and hangers used may also show the true signs of age. The handcrafted work on the back can easily be made out compared to modern, machine made versions. You may also find a mark or a tag indicating the maker and place of origin.
 
3, Mirrors are placed as functional accessories as well as for their decorative flair. So knowing your requirements, will help choose your mirror. For instance, if you want a mirror to help open up a small space, a large mirror can work well. You can also use a cluster of small mirrors as decorative accessories that can stylishly fill up empty walls too.
4. Lastly, condition of the antique mirror is very important. Apart from the minor imperfections thoroughly check out any repairs made and the quality of the work.

Research your source well, as there are many impersonations on the market. Make sure that the dealer you approach is genuine.

At Cleall Antiques we welcome you to inspect our selection of antique mirrors, either in store or online.