A Large Mid-20thC Venetian Glass Wall Mirror


Origin: Venetian
Period: Mid-20thC
Provenance: Ex Gordon Watson
Date: c.1950
Height: 46”    
Width: 36”
Depth: 2.25”

The deep and finely crafted two inch thick shaped and segmented rectangular frame displaying the original plate with etched line decoration and scalloped surmount,  surviving in superb order from the third quarter of the twentieth century.

The mirror is in excellent condition with some small amounts of spotting to a handful of the mirror panels giving it a nice authentic feel.

Venetian glass and indeed mirrors hardly need any introduction. The Venetians invented a "flat mirror technique” by figuring out how to attach tin to a flat glass surface and also created a special reflective mixture in which gold and bronze was added. Because of this "magical" mixture all objects reflecting in the mirrors looked much more beautiful than in reality. The cost of one Venetian mirror then was comparable to the cost of the large naval ship.

This high quality production spread like wild fire and in 1569, Venetian mirror makers banned together in corporations, developing new techniques. At the end of the XVI century, diamond-point engraving became common for glass and mirrors produced in Murano.
 The next century saw the development of decorative mirrors in Venice, this particular mirror being a product of that development. Wood frames were covered with strips of cut mirror, and enhanced with glass reeds, flowers and leaves. (Muranese glass master Giuseppe Briati is credited for developing this concept). The sheets were also decorated with oil paints, while the mirrors’ wooden parts were varnished or painted gold according to the tastes of the time.

A dazzling statement piece in immaculate condition.