Venetian Mirror, ca. 1930
Appraised Value: $10,000 - $15,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (-1:41:18)
Decorative Arts, Metalwork & Sculpture
Vice President & Appraisals Department Director, Generalist Appraiser, Furniture and Decorative Arts
Bonhams & Butterfields, SF
GUEST: This mirror was a wedding gift from a prominent Utah family. They owned mining interests in Park City, Utah. They owned a railroad in Utah. I believe, in the 1930s when this was bought as a wedding gift, this was new at that time.
APPRAISER: This is what we call a "Venetian," a reverse-etched sectional, enameled mirror. These mirrors are very delicate. They just don't survive. Matter of fact, you said you've hung this mirror several times.
GUEST: Yes, I have. About three times.
APPRAISER: Usually, when you touch these sectional pieces of glass here, you have a tendency to snap this glass, so very few ever survive. Now, we do have some condition problems here. The laminated wood up here is beginning to separate, and there's a danger there of maybe some of this glass falling off. So you should really have that restored.
APPRAISER: But what makes this mirror especially rare is this wonderful, wonderful enamel work that we see here: this musical motif, which is the central medallion here, and then the corners have wonderful scrollwork plus the musical motif here also. And let me tell you, these panels have no cracks in them. They're in mint condition. There's no cracks into any of the panes here. There's not even any missing pieces. Over the years, these have a tendency-- several of these pieces, especially these little mounts here-- to drop off. Now, these are not uncommon. They still make these mirrors today, but you very seldom see this type of enamel work. I would say because it is 1930s-- this is not 18th or 19th century-- I would say its fair market auction value would be $10,000 low, $15,000 high, and I really believe on a certain day in the auction room, I think you could even get more competitive bidding on this where it could actually go up higher than that.
GUEST: That's good.
APPRAISER: What a nice piece and what a brave man to bring this in.
GUEST: Thank you very much.
APPRAISER: Because when you opened this case, I was expecting to see many broken pieces in it.
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