Painted Tortoise Shell Mirror
This strong yet elegant tortoise shell mirror is constructed in a classic 19th-century shape, painted with a glowing dark tortoise shell around the bevelled plate. The shell has been carefully sanded and smoothed over, and is carved with symmetrical and delicate curves along the frame, adding to the mirror’s visual diversity. The rich brown, black, and orange colours combine to produce a bold object that will surely be an item of intrigue in your home. As decorating staples and objects of wealth and beauty, mirrors help to enlarge small spaces by reflecting light across rooms and extending one’s field of vision. Before the 18th century, mirrors were made by coating glass with a thin layer of tin and mercury – a highly toxic compound. However, in the early 19th century, a safer, new way of mirror-making was invented using silver nitrate. Traditionally, tortoise shell items, such as jewellery, trinkets, and mirrors, were made from the shells of hawksbill sea turtles. Today, tortoise shell objects in most countries are made from plastic.This mid-sized mirror is in excellent condition.