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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Large Carved Oak Mirror


Carved Mirror
Carved Mirror  
QUESTION: I recently purchased this mirror, Hoping you may have some insight as to it's origin,type of Oak, and any idea of it's value. My guess is that is was originally the focal point of an ornate sideboard. Looks as though something accompanied it along its sides. It stands at 137cm tall and 122cm wide, and weights roughly 100 lbs. I have flipped the attached photo as the mirror currently rests upside down along my dinning room wall. As you can imagine, I am having a difficult time matching it with a sideboard. Any insight you may have would be greatly appreciated!

ANSWER: please use the followup function and post another picture of the wood grain close up and clear.  also a picture of the rear.

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back of mirror
back of mirror  
Mirror close up
Mirror close up  
QUESTION: Good Morning Mr. Klein, Attached are the pictures you requested. I could not get a very good photo of the back as I am not much taller than this mirror, at only 5 foot nothing, which makes it is difficult for me to hold onto it a snap photo(it took two men to load it and unload it for me). If it is not clear enough, I can send another later this afternoon when my son will be here to help me if you need a better view. Thank you for your help!

ANSWER: Thank you.  Maybe you can tell me what i need...what i was looking for on the rear was any indication of attachment points to help determine if this was from a piece of furniture like a sidebaord or dresser or if it might have been off a hall tree or even a fireplace mantle.

whatever it came off the wood is white oak, and it is spectacular.

please let me know after you investigate the rear is you find anything that looks like screw holes or where more wood brackets had been attached.  it would show up as a shadow much like the shadow where a backer board used to be covering the rear of the glass.

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Back top
Back top  
QUESTION: White Oak, nice! They're one of my favorite trees. Well, after several feeble attempts, I am unable able capture a photo of the matching holes on each side that run diagonally from the corners on the bottom of the backing for you to see. They were one reason as to why I was thinking it may have been part of a large sideboard, and maybe adorned along sides by carvings or ornate shelving of some kind. I feel like it has kind of a gothic/neo-gothic flair, and yet not anything like most of the Ginormous griffin/gargoyle adorned sideboards I have seen thus far. I was able to snap a photo of the back where whomever had it before, had attached a pine board(sigh) across the top(not pretty, but thankfully they did not damage the piece, and it appears that it can be removed easily)in order to hang it, or attach to the wall for extra support. In this photo you can see a bit better, the outline where they removed the smaller mirror backing, and the 21st century hangers. I paid very little for the mirror, and can find nothing like it for comparison. However, I may or may not have come across a clue to it's origin, you will probably know.  I have found a beautiful;the owner says is a  19th century Mediterranean sideboard here in Ga, with a similar leaf/flower pattern to that of pattern on the shelf portion of mirror. I think they would blend beautifully if the sideboard had not been bleach washed(I think that is the term he used?). It appears to have a grayish unfinished finish. Not sure I can restore to match. Even in the shape the sideboard is in,it is a beauty(but pricey). Has St. Andrews Shields on doors(can send you a picture if you would like to compare pieces). Figured shields and fire breathing dragons would compliment each other, since I will never find anything like mirror. That is the extent of my knowledge thus far, and have had this piece since sitting on my dining room floor since September....sigh.  Thank you again, for lending me your knowledge in solving this wee problem.

dragons or griffins for sure, not an uncommon decoration for 1880-1910 adorned furniture.  the acanthus leaf carvings are also quite popular throughout time as adornments both here in the USA and abroad.  The egg and dart in three sizes are a high end touch as well.  You may not realize how spectacular this mirror is all by itself.

Personally, based on the elaborateness, detail, and depth of the carvings, i think attaching it to any piece of furniture would detract from the mirror itself. Truly, it is a spectacular mirror that alone would probably sell from 600 to 900 at a decent auction.

I would hang it on the wall and enjoy.

if the sideboard the guy was talking about being bleach washed it is likely washed with lye or caustic soda to gray the wood and open the grain.

I am going to guess, based on the mention of the st andrews shields and the term 'wee' that you might be from the UK?

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robert klein


In regards to American antique, vintage and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing, and value. I do not study mid century and later furniture nor do I deal in lamps, and other smalls. You may ask for values and I will give you current market values, I will not give you 'feel good' values. Understand that there are many factors that contribute to market value. If you want a feel good, unrealistic number, please call a local inexperienced appraiser. It is my desire to help you and in doing so I increase my knowledge as well. For that I thank you.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars by various organizations, institutions, and private collectors.

Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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