The mirror frame that I am restoring from the antique dealer is an extremely rare piece. It is a Masonic mirror with an eye shape, (one of the Masonic symbols most frequently used is “the eye that sees all”).
The mirror is about two hundred years old from Shrewsburry, England. We know this is where it is from because it is written on the back of the frame. It was originally gilded with gold leaf.
The mirror was very badly damaged, many parts of the moldings and miter joints were unglued and seperated. Also there are some losses of parts of the moldings in the form of pearls. These losses were produced by the movement of the broken miters and joints. There were 4 different layers of paint aplied over time, which were black, brown-red, green and ivory.
The first step was to glue all the pieces and miter joints, taking care to trim to the same level, so that the frame itself looks like one piece of wood. This is very difficult.
The next step is to remove all 4 layers of paint. This is the stage I am at now. As I am removing the 4 layers of paint it has revealed a fine gilding that was the original finishing on the frame. Unfortunately this original gilding is too damaged to save.