My Ronald Phillips +44 (0)20 7493 2341

The mirror paintings have bevelled edges, which is a sign of quality and proof of not having been reduced in size. Most mirror paintings are upright, whereas landscape versions in pairs are rare.

Producing mirror paintings in the 18th century was treacherous and time-consuming. The glass was originally made in England. It was ground flat by hand, and then bevelled by hand. The silvering was achieved by immersing silver nitrate in mercury and pasting it on to the prepared reverse side of the glass. The mercury was then evaporated over heat, producing extremely poisonous fumes. Many glass plates were broken and lost in the process. The ready-made mirrors were then packed in crates with straw padding and shipped to China to be painted.

The mirror plates that arrived intact were prepared for painting by removing a section of the mercury silvering, leaving only the necessary background silvered. Once finished, the paintings were baked in an oven. Again, many paintings cracked in the process.

The completed mirror paintings were then shipped back from China to England, in the final stage of a journey that often took years. It is remarkable that any mirrors survived the process.



Read More

  • Provenance


Make an enquiry

Store Your Pieces After sale Ronald Phillips offers the service to store your pieces in our warehouse to meet your personal delivery requirements.

Delivery And Installation In The UK Delivery and installation are complimentary of Ronald Phillips within the UK. Ronald Phillips will arrange delivery to your home, and if required a member of the Ronald Phillips team will accompany the piece and ensure installation.

Export From The UK One of the leading names in English antique furniture Ronald Phillips has built up a client base worldwide. If you live outside of the UK and an export licence is required this will be applied for by Ronald Phillips. International shipping and insurance will also be arranged. Our shipping department will arrange safe transport to any destination by experienced and approved shipping companies.

Guarantee Ronald Phillips are members of The British Antique Dealers Association. The BADA is the trade association for the leading antique dealers in Britain. Since its foundation in 1918 BADA has set the standard for trading in the antique business. Its main role is to establish and maintain confidence between members and the public, both in buying and selling.

  • +44 (0)20 7493 2341