Let’s Talk About Antique Mirrors

Intro to Antique Mirrors

Mirror mirror on the wall who’s the prettiest? Well, today it’s antique mirrors. In fact, we can’t keep enough samples in stock. From large, over sized panels, to smaller mirror layouts, framed antique mirrors and wall cladded variants, antique mirrors are being used in a variety of formats for some very creative ideas.

Mirrors, as we know them, have been around since the 16th century and were silvered with tin and mercury, which sounds like a pretty dangerous job. Then in the 19th century, silver was used as a coating, which sounds pretty expensive. Today, aluminum is used with other compounds yet still retaining the name “silvering”.

Mirrors are made by placing a panel of glass in a vacuum chamber with heated coils that evaporate aluminum. When the aluminum particles hit the mirror, they cool and stick. Mirrors are usually classified as back-silvered, with the silvering process viewed through the front of the glass panel. With back-silvered mirrors, the mirror is protected from scratches, corrosion, and other damage.

What Are Antique Mirrors

White Cloud Antique Mirror

There are 2 variants of antique mirrors. The real deal, usually a mirror over 100 years old, that has aged over time and has developed scratches and stains, fades and patina. You’ll often find them framed and have a hefty price tag.

Second, there are modern antique mirrors. These are offered in a variety of colors, patterns, sizes, and have a much more controlled appearance. Although organic in design, the outcome can be controlled to give a consistent look from panel to panel.

Full size antique mirror panel and up close sample view

There are more options with modern, factory produced antique mirrors. Antique mirror textures range in a variety of colors and patterns from subdued to bold. The cost is also substantially lower than vintage mirrors. If you’re looking to clad an elevator surround, or a wall in a lobby, this is the way to go.

Modern antique mirrors are produced by creating a standard mirror then mixing chemicals that react with the silvering. Other techniques involve adding a silvering material mixed with other chemicals that react together to achieve an antique mirror appearance.

Antique Mirrors in Design

In terms of antique mirror options, you have unlimited choices that won’t hinder your creative flow. So go forth, and think outside the box (or mirror frame) and have fun. Add a piece of Blue-Grey antique mirror as a protective tabletop or a tray bottom. Clad a powder room wall with our Bright White antique mirror. Hang a multitude of small, colorful Copper Swirl antique mirror panels from the ceiling of a lobby.

Get Some Antique Mirror Samples

Glass Samples

If you want to see all of our antique mirrors in person, request a sample kit and we’ll get it out to you ASAP!