French Cushion Mirror Frame

Stage 1
This is how all our new period frames begin: with the design. We draw up the image and enlarge the details of the mouldings that will be used with the measurements included. This design is a French cushion mirror frame where all the panels are mirrors. It’s very effective to capture the light in the room and create a stunning visual impact any time of the day.

Stage 2
This is the stage where the raw timber frame has been treated with rabbit skin glue and gesso. There are several layers of gesso needed because there would be water-gilding on the frame. There must be a thick base of gesso between the timber and the gold leaf that can be compressed by burnishing the gold leaf with an agate stone tool to create the mirror -like finish of the water-gilding.

Stage 3
This stage shows the preparation for water-gilding. The gesso first covered with ochre-yellow bole. This is a type of superfine clay. This yellow base is followed by red bole on the areas that would be water-gilt. The gold leaf is very thin, and the warm red colour underneath the gold leaf enhances the depth of the gilding.

Finished Frame
This photo shows the finished mirror frame. Parts of the pattern had been water-gilt and on the rest, we used oil gilding which is a matt gilding. Both gilding was done with 24 karat gold leaves. Finishing the gilding we applied shellac for protection and slight aging to emphasize the pattern.

Large Walnut and Parcel Gilt Mirror

Before restoration image
This large walnut and parcel gilt mirror came to us in pieces. The two sides had many damages with lots of missing elements and the crown has been broken to pieces with many missing parts as well.

During restoration image
This photo had been taken during the restoration. The frame had been structurally strengthened and cleaned. All the white areas show where the missing decorations had been replaced and gesso-ed in preparation for the gilding.

After restoration image
Here we have the restored frame. The timber parts had been shellacked many times to bring back the deep colour and emphasize the pattern of the timber. All replacements had been gilt with 24 Karat gold leaves. The entire frame had been aged to match the original finish.

Belgian Carved Oak Mirror Frame

Before Restoration Image
This is an image of a charming Belgian carved oak mirror frame that has been left outside for a while. It has deteriorated badly; lost all it’s protective varnish and the glue holding it together weakended and disintegrated so the frame has fallen apart. The sun’s UV rays faded the timber to near white on the exposed areas.

After restoration image
This picture shows the same frame after the restoration. We structurally strengthened the frame, cleaned the surface from dust and dirt. Built up several layers of shellac that has brought back the natural colour of the oak. We applied dark wax to further protect the finish and give it extra depth. Happy to report that after the restoration the mirror frame has moved inside!

Standing Silver Mirror Frame

Before restoration image
We have here an exceptionally large standing silver mirror frame. The silver repousse was dirty the crevices filled with black patina, dirt and dust. The beautiful dark blue velvet that suppose to create contrast has faded away and had been obscured by the accumulated residue from various silver cleaning products.

Before restoration image 2
This is the easel backing of the silver standing mirror. Remnants of the beautiful blue velvet can be seen, and dark silk covered the easel part itself. The animal glue used for the construction of the backing dried out and the timber parts collapsed.

During restoration image
This photo shows the silver repousse work and its old blue velvet base side by side.
The deterioration of the velvet is clearly visible especially under the cut-outs.

After restoration image 1
This image shows the restored easel back that has been covered with new blue velvet.

After restoration image 2
This image shows the restored mirror’s front. The silver repousse work had been cleaned and polished. The velvet base has been replaced with new and the mirror frame assembled. It had a lovely original bevelled mirror.

Compassionate Museum-Quality Antique Mirror Frame Restoration and Gilding

We do mirror frame restoration in Ryde, Sydney, by repairing deteriorated timber and backing, strengthening the structure, maintaining repousse (low relief metalwork), and replacing destroyed sections to make your heirloom new again. Speak to us about your refurbishment project.

Related Services We Provide Beside Frame Restoration

Send us a message if you want us to prepare a quotation and free condition report regarding the refurbishment of your aged decorative objects, whether a priceless collector’s piece or family treasure with sentimental value.

  • We provide award-winning restoration and conservation of Chinese and Japanese lacquer, Chinoiserie, Boulle work, bronze, china, porcelain, and terracotta as well as frame restoration.
  • Chinoiserie was used in paintings and on mirror frames, folding screens, furniture, and porcelain in the mid- to late 17th Century. The term refers to the European understanding and simulation of East Asian and Chinese decorative traditions, and the form is reminiscent of the Rococo style with its vivacious embellishments and utilisation of different substances such as enamel on bronze. 
  • Boulle refers to ornate marquetry or inlays on ornaments, frames, panels, and furniture. The artists used to cut and fit thin pieces of shell, metal, ivory, horn, and wood to shape elaborate motifs. This decorative art-form reached its height in 17th and 18th Century France.

We’ve focused on restoring rare antiques, war memorials, interior and exterior gilding, interior decorative stencil work, murals, statues, as well as pewter and other alloys since 1990. We will gladly speak to you if you want to renew your artefacts.

The Importance of Woodwork Repair

Family heirlooms pass from one generation to the next. They represent your family’s history and are exquisite. They may also be extremely valuable, depending on their historical rarity.

  • We are an award-winning enterprise (Build Best Antique Furniture Restoration Business – Australia) and employ time-honoured methods and materials – whenever feasible – to retain the object’s authenticity.
  • Wood becomes damaged, finishes fade, brass mountings, and handles become tarnished, and the timber dries out, making woodwork repair of the antique essential to ensure the survival of the piece. We reconstruct and strengthen the frame in addition to cleaning, polishing, and waxing the surface to protect the timber from drying out again. Varnishing is also required in some woodwork repair instances.
  • Items may arrive in pieces, with missing and broken elements. Restoration entails fixing the damage, putting the existing timber parts together, solidifying the structure, replacing missing segments, and gilding the frame again, if required. Shellacking restores the colour and accentuates the patterns in the wood. The frame restoration should be aged to match the earlier finish if parts are newly added.

Would you like us to respectfully recondition your treasures to look like the precious legacies they are before passing them on one day?

Why You Should Use Inhof Restoration & Design

You will receive an upfront written quotation before we undertake the restoration and we photograph each item both before the work starts and as the process continues. We keep you informed of any discoveries and obtain your permission for the next step and any added charges involved. Contact us.

“Inhof Restoration were an absolute delight to work with. With their help my beautiful Gilt Victorian Console Table which was left to me by my parents is back to it’s original beauty. Thanks Attila and Cecilia”