Chippendale mirror with Phoenix Detail


I have worked on similar items for this client, whose request is usually "Make it look old, but well cared for" In the case, the mirror had much restoration over the years, but the gilding was obscured by some sort of "bronzed" finish. Gesso losses to the phoenix body were not replaced, but bronze paint was applied over the traces.


Crest detail

  Mirror as delivered




The liner had one spot that was missing, so I built it up with gesso and carved it out. There were other re-carved areas on the liner, but as they are unobtrusive, they will be left as is. The liner will be oil gilded (as whatever the previous restorer applied was not coming off without difficulty), and will be toned/distressed appropriately.

The phoenix bird ornament had a broken neck at some point; Again, when the previous restorer strengthened the crest with battens, they also attached the head with a screw, and possible additional age-related warping of the crest was making the separation at the neck a problem. I removed the screw, re-attached the head, and filled the gaps. I then picked off the loose gesso, and applied a new gesso surface to the body and beak/head areas. After carving out the feather detail, I smoothed the body. These areas will be water gilded and burnished, in order to provide a bit more life to the mirror.




Neck Repair Gessoed Phoenix


gilt bird
Gilding liner








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Last Update: 1/27/2014