In present times, Venetian mirrors continue to convey luxury and status.
Mirrors have had a long and complex evolution over the centuries, but the finest mirrors ever created are the Venetian mirrors. Venice perfected the art of the hand-crafted mirrors. There is nothing like the glitter of skillfully crafted, beautiful Venetian glass in the light.
In the 12th century, no respectful lady left her house without a small mirror. Handheld mirrors and pears mirrors became a must have items for every woman. Ladies wore gold embellished mirrors on a chain around their neck or waist, inserted mirrors in to the fens. Mirrors were treated just like precious jewelry. Later Venetian Mirrors become popular valuable collectibles among the Royals. British King Henry – VIII and the King of France Francis – I were the most known mirror collectors of their times. Trying to catch up with kings, nobles in France had to have extravagant mirrors at any cost. It is a known fact that some of them had to sell one of their residences in order to purchase a single beautiful mirror. Mirrors were extremely costly. For example, one mirror costed more than Rafael’s painting of the same size.
It is this long and colorful Historical journey of Mirror Inspires us . we should always remember “Reflect and Respect” this incredible side of mirror where it not only influenced the social belief and way of life but also influenced the world Economy .
We at Antique Roots have immense love for the traditional age old art of mirror making and it is our attempt to take further this love and admiration for Venetian Mirror making to the people who have an eye for Luxury Art !
Each piece is hand crafted with great love and attention.
As the entire process at our place is hand crafted and not industrially made, each piece is unique in its own way. Explore our site further to claim one !
The Rise of Venetian Mirror
The Venetian mirror was born on the tiny Italian island of Murano in Venice in the 15th century. Venetian mirrors were painstakingly produced. Creating one was a highly skilled process. Upon completion, Venetian mirrors were considered to be masterpieces of art; the beauty of Venetian mirrors surpassed the expectations of what a mirror should be.
Even with the arrival of the 16th century, Venetian mirrors were rarities and the majority of them were custom made for Royals and nobles with voracious appetites for collecting Venetian mirrors. Because the demand for Venetian mirrors surpassed the supply, it became possible to purchase replicas, or “Venetian style mirrors”, from dealers who specialized in upscale, valuable objects. Authentic Venetian mirrors were set in precious frames made of beveled glass borders, skillfully adjusted and secured into place with metal screws and could only be purchased from Venice, Italy. Thoroughly beautiful, genuine Venetian mirrors were difficult to acquire.
Venetian mirrors, the purest mirrors in the World, set the bar very high for other mirror manufacturers. The Venetian mirrors dominated the industry; the popularity of authentic Venetian mirrors wiped out all competitive initiatives from abroad. The quality and the proportion of the Venetian mirrors and their components, combined with the Venetian artists’ hundreds of years of crafting experience, made the island of Murano an extremely formidable opponent in the mirror making industry.
One reason the Venetian mirrors were considered so elusively beautiful was due to the top secret manufacturing procedures developed by the Murano glass artisans. The Venetian glass makers perfected the mystical gold dust technique: they inserted gold leaf into the glass prior to the solidification process, leaving the gold leaf embedded into the mirror’s glass. Protected forever, the gold leaf added color and eternal sparkle to the Venetian mirror.
Another highly protected manufacturing secret was the “Lattimo” process. Lattimo is the name given for the translucent milky-white glass. This technique involves the use of lead to color the glass. Over time, Venetian mirror makers perfected the this process and achieved the skills to necessary to manipulate a variety of effects within the glass. When artfully distributed throughout the glass, the Lattimo process breathed new life into the Venetian mirrors. Through the skillful manipulation of the golden dust technique and the Lattimo technique together, the creation of such details like artful borders was possible.