Pier Mirror ID Help

shiflewwAugust 9, 2012

Good Afternoon,

I have just purchased a beautiful large pier mirror but would greatly appreciate help in identification of the piece. I know very litte history of the item except at least a one time it resided in Front Royal, Virginia. I am attaching photos that may help. It is a very heavy item currently in three pieces. The top of the base is wood, not marble as I would have expected. The mirror shows age and the backing boards are loose or missing. I'm guessing mid 1800's but would love to have someone that knows more about antique mirrors give me a hand with ID of this great mirror. Many thanks.

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shifleww

Additional picture of mirror

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:04PM
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shifleww

Additional picture of mirror

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:06PM
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shifleww

Additional picture of mirror

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:07PM
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shifleww

Additional picture of pier mirror.

Thanks for any help with this. Depending on the origin will determine how or if I restore the piece.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:09PM
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lindac

Fabulous!!
I agree....mid 19th century....maybe later....1875 or so.
Walnut burl and ebonized...mahogany?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:26PM
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chibimimi

I agree with Lindac, 1870-1880 or so. Definitely worth restoring! Is the mirror original?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 8:58PM
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shifleww

That's great! The mirror is original to the piece. Is it unusual for a piece like this to have a wooden top to the base? The mirror has a couple of spots that are losing the silver. Should I try to repair those areas myself?

Many thanks for your replies.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 11:18PM
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lindac

Not unusual at all to have a wooden base....
No....don't mess with the mirror....if you were1 150 years old you would have some spots too. Spots on an antique mirror are not a problem....a bad restoration is!!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 11:27PM
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antiquesilver

Another one in agreement of 1870-80s. Gorgeous mirror! How tall is it?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 9:11AM
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shifleww

The dimensions of the mirror are as follows:

The base that the mirror sits on: 35 inches across the back, it tapers and it is 27 inches across the front, 15 inches in depth, 16 inches in high.
The wood frame that sits on the base: 2ft 6 inches across, 5ft 10 inches high.
The actual mirror itself that is in the wood frame: 21.5 inches across, 4ft 10.5 inches high

How should the finish be restored? I'm a relative newby with restoring antiques so any help or advice would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 10:01AM
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antiquesilver

Nice size to fit between 2 tall windows or will you put it in a hallway? What a great find!

It looks to be in good condition & I wouldn't do anything to restore it - just a light cleaning & maybe polish with a light paste wax like Renaissance.

Here is a link that might be useful: Renaissance Wax

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 10:47AM
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shifleww

I plan to place it between two tall windows in the parlor on the front side of our Colonial house. It would be facing a fireplace. The condition does bother me. I don't see me just placing as is. I would like to do a good restoration on it so it would be a nicer fit without taking away from the age and natural beauty of the piece. If I go that route should I repaint (and how show I do that?) or possibly gild the frame and stand? Should I keep the wooden top to the stand or replace it with a custom marble piece?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 9:24AM
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lindac

You should do nothing to it but clean it!!!
Do you have other antiques?? Perhaps if you have all new furniture or all refinished antiques you don't realize what a 150 year old mirror looks like?
If you want a tall mirror that looks like new....buy a new one.
Painting, stripping and certainly gilding will ruin your beautiful antique...clean it with mineral spirits and wax it. Perhaps you could touch up some nicks and dings with a wood stain of the appropriate color and an artist's brush. But don't paint or gild it at all!! You will immediatly cut the value in half!
Linda c

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:19AM
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antiquesilver

All pier mirrors did not have marble tops or gilding & from what I can see, there's no indication this one had either. What look like 'paint' to you is probably old, dark varnish that will clean up as LindaC suggests; painting it would be akin to heresy!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:45AM
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chibimimi

Yes, please do not change it into something it never was. Just clean it, as Linda suggested, and love it.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 7:03PM
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lazy_gardens

I also land on the side of clean it carefully to get the crud of the ages off it, then wax it with a good quality paste furniture wax. That's an excellent example of its era, just right for checking the flounce of your bustle and the bonnet angle before you go out the door.

They were meant to be a subtle tone-on tone contrast between the ebonized pieces (the dark diamond in one picture) and the walnut or mahogany. The carving is deeply cut, the pillars are nicely enhanced with light incised spirals and ebonized lozenges.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:32PM
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