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19th Century Distortion Optical Mirror Concave Curio Fairground Circus
Located in Lowestoft, GB
A rare late 19th century distortion mirror, with a concave plate Housed in its original softwood well carpentered frame with faux rosewood finish The thick plate has some pitti...
Category

Antique Late 19th Century American Wall Mirrors

Materials

Mirror, Pine

Set of Three Mid-Century French Fairground/Circus Distortion Mirrors
Located in Surbiton, Surrey
A set of three mid-century fairground distortion mirrors. France, c1950s. Original curved mirrored plate glass, the frames had too much wear so new strained frames were made....
Category

Mid-20th Century French More Mirrors

Materials

Glass, Wood

Fun House Mirror, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Fun house mirror from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, unusual larger size, the interior distortion mirror measures 22.5" W x 47" H.  
Category

Vintage 1980s American Wall Mirrors

Materials

Acrylic, Wood

Finding the Right Mirrors for You

The road from early innovations in reflective glass to the alluring antique and vintage mirrors in trendy modern interiors has been a long one but we’re reminded of the journey everywhere we look.

We’ve come a great distance from the polished stone that served as mirrors in Central America thousands of years ago or the copper mirrors of Mesopotamia before that. Today’s coveted glass Venetian mirrors, which should be cleaned with a solution of white vinegar and water, were likely produced in Italy beginning in the 1500s, while antique mirrors originating during the 19th century can add the rustic farmhouse feel to your mudroom that you didn’t know you needed.

By the early 20th century, experiments with various alloys allowed for mirrors to be made inexpensively. The geometric shapes and beveled edges that characterize mirrors crafted in the Art Deco style of the 1920s can bring pizzazz to your entryway, while an ornate La Barge mirror made in the Hollywood Regency style makes a statement in any bedroom. Friedman Brothers is a particularly popular manufacturer known for decorative round and rectangular framed mirrors designed in the Rococo, Louis XVI and other styles, including dramatic wall mirrors framed in gold faux bamboo that bear the hallmarks of Asian design

Perhaps unsurprisingly, mid-century modernism continues to influence the design of contemporary mirrors. Today’s simple yet chic mantel mirror frames, often neutral in color, owe to the understated mirror designs introduced in the postwar era.

Sculptor and furniture maker Paul Evans had been making collage-style cabinets since at least the late 1950s when he designed his Patchwork mirror — part of a series that yielded expressive works of combined brass, copper and pewter — for Directional Furniture during the mid-1960s. Several books celebrating Evans’s work were published beginning in the early 2000s, as his unconventional furniture has been enjoying a moment not unlike the resurgence that the Ultrafragola mirror is seeing. Designed by the Memphis Group’s Ettore Sottsass in 1970, the Ultrafragola mirror, in all its sensuous acrylic splendor, has become somewhat of a star thanks to much-lauded appearances in shelter magazines and on social media.

On 1stDibs, we have a broad selection of antique, new and vintage mirrors and tips on how to style your contemporary mirror too.