WOW! What does one say when they've discovered the holy grail of antique mirrors? Originally fitted as salon decorations in a Venetian Palazzo, if only these mirrors could speak. Picture these substantial beauties adorning the plastered and frescoed walls in this fine residence. Magically bouncing light and shadows around the room as guests danced, drank and listened to opera as they enjoyed the grand galas of the day. Surrounded by numerous artists and other dignitaries, this pair of mirrors witnessed many a sight over the last few centuries. Change is .inevitable as time passes by, giving us the rare opportunity to purchase this unique and highly sought after pair of mirrors.
Since mirrors used to be backed with Mercury, the often show their age as its magnetic qualities dissolve over time, resulting in the clear glass seen in these striking mirrors. Bothersome? Only to some but, there are many of us who appreciate the fact that they have never been touched or restored. Showing minor damages, some missing bits, several flakes, cracks and chips. These mirrors are not perfect and in our opinion, you shouldn't want them as such, their resonating beauty is due to their untouched nor restored patina. The board which each mirror is affixed could be painted or gilded giving the pair a more grand or opulent appearance without affecting the value.
The history of mirrors starts in III Century B.C. Most ancient mirrors were made from metal and had a round shape. The back side of the ancient mirrors were beautifully embellished with ornamentation. Mirrors were made from highly polished bronze and silver. The first glass mirrors were invented in I Century by Romans. From ancient times special qualities had been given to mirrors, that no other object had. The Greek philosopher Socrates gave advice to young men to look at themselves in the mirror, and those who were handsome should focus their life on keeping their souls clean and stay away from the temptations of life that could take them on the wrong path. If a young man would find that he is not handsome, he should compensate for his look from his heart, and get known for doing a lot of good things. In the Medieval period glass mirrors completely disappeared, because during those times religious confessions believed that the devil was looking and watching the world from the opposite side. Poor fashionable ladies had to use a polished metal mirror or special water bowls instead of glass mirrors.
Glass mirrors came back only in 13th century. This time they were bent slightly outward making them convex. The method of attaching tin to the flat surface of the glass wasn't invented yet. Using available technology master glaziers poured hot tin into glass tubs, and when the tin was cold, they would break it into pieces. Only three centuries later Venetian masters invented a "flat mirror technique". They figured out how to attach tin to a flat glass surface. Venetian masters invented another trick. They 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 actual reality. The cost of one Venetian mirror was at the time comparable to the cost of the large naval ship. This pair are original and unbelievable, don't miss this phenomenal pair!!