Gold mirrors: An English masterpiece

Gold mirrors can refer to one of two things. First, it could be the result of gold leaf gilding, which is basically the application of an extremely thin sheet of gold over an object to give it the color and look of plated gold. Second, it could refer to the final product of electroplating, which coats a surface with gold ions in much the same way that gold leafing does, but with a much thinner, almost translucent layer of gold. This process is also known as Angel Gilding, and is used widely in present times on the insides of blown glass sculptures. More relevant to this article, an English glass-worker by the name of James Pratt realized that he could combine Angel Gilding with a layer of silver to create gold mirrors, which he was awarded a patent for, and which became very popular in Victorian times in the form of gold mirrors and gold mirror signs for English Public Houses, or Pubs. Their usage extends to current times to recreate the Victorian settings.

The Victorian perspective

Today, gold mirrors are used primarily in old Victorian homes that have been restored. The mirrors give an authentic touch to any Victorian age décor, like that of old hotels, palaces and museums. The ornate work on the frame is also indicative of the lengths to which the Victorians went in order to satisfy their thirst for all that was exquisite, and representative of a 'good life'. It's not that poverty didn't abound in those times, but what's remembered and cherished the most is the more pleasant and easy life of a wealthy person of the times, because he was the one with the access to the cultural and artistic excesses prevalent during the Victorian Era. In fact, late 19th century English life encapsulates the essence of all the glory of the British Empire at its height.

Present day Victorianism: Gold mirrors in the information age

Cut to the present; gold mirrors are very much in demand with connoisseurs of the arts, but they're not the only ones interested in them. Discerning shoppers who are looking to add a regal touch to their interiors are also popular clients for gold mirror manufacturers. The process is very simple – simple enough to do it at home even. However, for a professional look, it's better to buy from a retailer with experience in quality Angel Gilded mirrors. You might be able to find a few on the internet, but your local glass and mirror store will probably be able to guide you to the right source to shop for one of these exquisite mirrors – that's if they themselves don't carry at least a small range.

Morose mirrors: Not for the faint of heart

The rest of the furniture and elements of the room are critical to help set off the brilliance of a gold mirror, especially one with an ornate gold leaf frame as well. As a rule of thumb, the older and darker your furniture is, the more suitable it will be to accent the mirror. Antique wooden furniture with leather upholstery is probably the best choice. As for color, dark browns and other earth colors go well with gold. In fact, your whole theme should be centered on gold, brown and related hues for this to work to your advantage. Contrast might be a good idea if you like to be risky with it, but generally not recommended. Heavy works of antique art are shy, and typically not as friendly as modern fixtures; they may not mingle well with the other permanent guests in the room.