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Fake vs Real: How to spot a fake antique mirror from a real one?

Antique framed mirrors can cost a pretty penny. Since the 17th century, mirrors were a status symbol. Their uniqueness and high cost meant that only royalty and well-to-do households could afford them. As such, most antique mirrors boast of ornate carvings and gilt finishing – all symbols of a luxurious lifestyle.⁠

So, would you like to have a piece of history with an authentic antique mirror? And how can you see the item is really an antique? ⁠

Here are some things to look at to see whether a mirror is a true antique.⁠

1.⁠
Mirror frame. Expect signs of age and wear, even for a well-preserved frame. So a near-perfect surface will indicate that the item is not an antique. An antique will usually have natural darkening of the wood, some staining and chipping. In addition, the backs of antique mirrors are usually made of wood.⁠

2.⁠
Detailing. The finishing of the picture frame is done by hand for antiques. So if the frame’s finishing is uniformly applied, chances are, it is not an antique.⁠

3.⁠
Glass imperfections. Because the production of glass had not been perfected yet, expect imperfections in antiques. This can include a slightly wavy surface or bubbling within the glass. If the mirror has been made with a thin sheet coated with mercury, check for cloudy spots, as well as some greying or yellowing to the inside surface of the mirror glass. The spots or mottled patches should not be too uniform.⁠

4. ⁠
Color of the glass. Modern mirror glass will be colorless while antique glass tends to be grayish or yellowish due to the passage of time.⁠

5.⁠
Another step to make sure that you are buying an authentic mirror is to buy only from a reputable source. This is of course something we love to help you with.⁠

For more inspiration have a look at our Instagram account @franse_spiegels

Don’t hesitate to contact us to help you find your perfect antique mirror. ⁠

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