This Empire mirror was made circa 1840 with an ogee frame that is veneered with beautifully grained mahogany. The upper panel is reverse painted on glass, which is also known as églomisé. It's a charming folk art scene of a boatman standing on a spit of land in front of his boat. The painting is on a white background surrounded by 4 eight-point gilt stars or suns with muted brick red sponging over them. The backing of the mirror is a single piece of pine, secured with hand cut nails and darkened by age. There are two old screw eyes and gnarly old wire securely fastened on the back for hanging. We're not sure if the mirror is original, although it does have some age to it. The back does not look as if it has been taken off, as the nails have oxidized on the wood.
The frame is 21 inches tall and a bit over 11 inches wide. The mirror glass is 8 inches by 10 inches, the painting is 8 inches by 6 1/2 inches and the weight is a little over 3 pounds. Everything about this mirror is in such good condition. The wooden frame has some digs and dings and a triangle shaped piece of veneer in the upper left corner was nicely replaced sometime in the past (and a tiny one lower right wasn't), but otherwise the frame looks great. The mirror glass has some scratches and a small amount of clouding and it's a bit wobbly in the frame when it's being moved; the painting has darkening along the edges, but both present beautifully. Since it's not a huge mirror, it could be propped on a shelf or piece of furniture as well as hung on the wall.
This Empire mirror is valuable not only as a decorative piece but as a well preserved antique of the 1800's.