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  • Writer's picturejohn gutsell

Mirror mirror...

The pictures below show a lovely old Georgian mirror in some state when obtained. Major sections were broken or missing. It required the original white gesso (plaster work) rebuilding and shaping, then a two tone ‘bole’ applying in black and yellow, for the uninitiated, this is a paint finish applied finish on top of the gesso to enhance the gilding. For this mirror the 'bole' was a layer of black then yellow to enhance the silver leaf applied on top. I had to match the exact shade of the original, building up layers. The other thing is not to over restore. So when you have applied the silver leaf it looks great. But totally new and clashes with the existing mirror. It is then important to gently age the silver and gently rub back the silver, replicating years of touching and dusting. Please see last few pictures showing the matched repairs.

georgian 18th century mirror with black bole on show

georgian mirror building up new gesso
18c mirror with gesso complete and yellow bole
18century georgian mirror with silver gilding matching the old

18th century gilding restored and aged to match the original

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