Federal Mirror with Scenic Panel of Shrewsbury Part 2


Some pieces had such significant gesso loss, that any remaining material had to be removed and all new gesso applied. The side rails had losses primarily on the front, so partial re-gesso was needed to fill in the missing areas.

A clay matching the color of the existing clay was applied, and these pieces were water gilded and burnished. When re-assembly approaches, they will be distressed and toned so that the allover look of age on this mirror will be consistent between old and new surfaces.

gesso work


These pieces have now been re-gilded. The band of ornament for the bottom rail will incorporate as much of the original as possible, with the addition of new castings taken from molds of the ornament at the top of the mirror.

Regilded bottom section
Mold making broken beading

Mold taken from leaf motifs at top in order to fill in missing parts of bottom leaf row. Missing sections of beadng repaired, as well as missing leaf pieces from the colonettes. Layer of leaf applied to fronts of bottom corner blocks.

gilded Beading
Gilded components




As work progressed, the newly repaired areas needed to be balanced out. I stripped the edge of the cornice - much of the original gesso had chipped away, and one side was a replacement that had never been gessoed and gilded. I also gessoed and gilded the tops of the capitals for the pilasters. The scrolled side pieces originally had some form of ornament. Since an earlier repair stripped this away entirely, I will smooth and put a layer of leaf on this area to hide the distracting marks. At some point, new compo ornament can be obtained to add very easily.

Now it is time to start putting this back together. Almost everything I removed to work on will be re-attached with screws. This way, future work can be done without damaging the mirror by prying off glued items. One exception was the pair of bottom corner blocks. The support structure was too weak/broken to risk drilling and using screws, so these were glued back in place. Some additional pieces were added to fill/strengthen the bottom of the mirror frame.




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Last Update:1/15/14