Antique mirrors broken in earthquake

4allisonsAugust 31, 2011

We got through last week's earthquake just fine, but with two painful exceptions: a pair of HUGE antique mirrors that have been handed down through the family. Both were knocked to the floor and the mirrors shattered. We learned two things: 1) OF COURSE we don't have earthquake riders in Virginia (duh), and 2) mirror glass is not recyclable.

But now I'm left with two sizable but thoroughly broken mirror frames. The family *stories* would have us believe that these are really old (1800s), but as you can see in the pictures (below) the frames took as much of a beating as the glass did.

My first reaction was "well, they're broken, I hate to do it but it's time for the trash can." My second reaction was "wait a minute, maybe the gardenweb antiques forum would have an opinion!"

Do these look repairable? Obviously, there would be a lot of woodwork involved, plus getting someone to cut some custom mirror glass. My *guess* is that it's still time for the trash bin, but what do you guys think?

Trash? Or treasure?

TABLE MIRROR PIECES:

WALL MIRROR PIECES

What do you think?

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lindac

Both very repairable......I especially would want the lyre framed one fixed because it likely goes with a dresser. A skilled wood work shop can repair that frame and you will never know.
The other mirror I think is older and also very repairable.
Don't let a stupid earthquake take away your family heirlooms....hav e them fixed.
I broke the top off an old sewing rocker many years ago....just knocked it over when vacuuming....I had it repaired and I defy you to tell where the break was.
They can be fixed.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 9:23PM
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raetaylor

I would have them repaired. Both are wonderful! But if you do choose to toss them please post your address so I can pick them up before the trash man! Ha Ha!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 10:54AM
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Fori is not pleased

Barely broken!

Except the glass of course. You could have the new mirrors antiqued but let's be serious--there's nothing wrong with shiny new mirrors that have a story attached to them like an east coast earthquake.

Secure them to the wall this time (says the person who lives on an active and overdue fault and hasn't secured a thing) in case of aftershocks!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 12:34PM
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4allisons

Well that's encouraging. And yes, I'm fine with a shiny new mirror. Any suggestions for how to find a custom-mirror cutter? Or any idea how much a custom-cut mirror is gonna cost? I'm already a *little* intimidated by the dowel-based construction of the wall-mirror. I mean, those dowels were all broken off ... I suppose I can invent something to solve that, but the bigger question is the custom cutting. Any hints or guesses on price?

And thanks all for the encouragement!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 2:26PM
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karinl

Fori - ditto!

Re the OP: I would think woodworker first, mirror shop after, and dowels can be drilled out and replaced.

I haven't done mirrors myself, but I've seen enough big ones for sale and for free on craigslist to wonder if you can have a bigger one cut down?

KarinL

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 5:31PM
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Fori is not pleased

I think the rectangular one should be fairly inexpensive, but the curvy one, especially if you need it beveled, might be a bit more. But it simply must be done!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 8:47PM
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Mikk

The "dowel-based construction" actually makes life a heck of a lot easier for a nearly seamless repair. "Barely broken" is spot on. The mirrors will undoubtedly be your biggest expense, but well worth preserving and detract little from the originals. I feel your pain :-)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 1:54AM
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cloudy_christine

A glass company will be able to make the mirrors. I know the one in my area looks very basic in its marketing, as if it only does windshields or plate glass windows, but actually can do just about anything.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 3:10PM
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