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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/damaged antique mirror


broken mirror
broken mirror  
QUESTION: I have an antique mirror passed down from my Great Aunt.  I figure it to be 100 to 150 years old or more as it was in my family before my Aunt had it.
In my opinion, it was not a "top of the line" mirror to start with...very plain and looks quite aged by now. The mirror was broken by our movers.  I am looking into getting the mirror replaced but I am unsure if the added expense of having a mirror "aged" to fit the mirror is worth it. It is a bit costly.  I still love the mirror both due to it's age and who passed it to me.  The mirror was not in very good condition as far as reflectiveness to start...spots, hazyness, etc.
Does it make more sense to just have a new piece of mirror put in?
The mirror portion measures 26 inches by 15 inches.

ANSWER: actually the frame looks to be a good one closer to 150 and about what 3-4 inches deep?

as to glass replacement, there is a loss of value due to breakage to the glass.

mirror with original glass 450.  with replacement glass of any type 250.

doesnt matter that the old glass was not clear, that was to be expected and any replacement if not clear glass would not look right as the reproduction 'aged' glass looks like junk.  Replace with new clear glass mirror and accept the moving storage loss of value of 250$ plus replacement of a new glass mirror.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your response. I'm assuming if there was any value to the original mirror, you would have included that. As you can see in the picture, the mirror is only broken in one place and I could just put it back in the frame as is.  (Not what I would want to do but if the mirror itself has any value I'd do it.)

I think you would have advised me to do that so I'm thinking there is no point in keeping the old mirror pieces. I'm surprised at it's intact (unbroken) value and saddened at the loss for something so preventable. Considering what they did with most of our belongings, it s amazing anything at all made it.
Thanks again, Debra

There are two schools of thought on the glass.  one being to put the old glass back in even broken, the other to replace the broken glass.  If this wer an historical piece of some nature whether nationally of family history then yes, put the broken back in or save it and use new in the frame.  Either is acceptable.  

It is a shame that moving damage occurs more often than it needs to.  I have done hundreds of move damage claims over the years.  Some are slight some are not.


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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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