Chippendale mirror plans.


Well-known member
I am looking for a set of detailed plans/drawings for a Chippendale mirror with a pieced Phoenix crest and I want to be as historically accurate as possible.. Can anyone point me in the right direction?


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I just scale the photograph. You can get it very accurate this way. You can also enlarge parts of it on your computer to get full size parts / sections.

Dennis Bork
Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.
Thanks Dennis. I'm looking for any plans that show how the Phoenix is attached/integrated into the top crest of the mirror, as well as some carving details for the bird.
I'm guessing that the branch, that the Phoenix is holding, is secured behind the top fret work of the mirror. That's what I would do.

Dennis Bork

I own a period mirror simlar to the one illustrated.  The majority of the phoenix and all of the branch are carved from the board that is used to make the crest.  The head and neck wood is glued on and stands proud of the surface of the crest.
If I can help with more information, please let me know.

While I have seen numerous reproductions of this style of mirror made in curly maple, I have only seen a few, small, "country" examples made in the period.  I believe that this was probably due to the fact that the vast majority of mirrors, including those with American labels, were imported from Europe.  PSP
Does this help?  Some of the pine surfaces are carved through the veneer into the substrate, some are from the glued-on blocks.


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Great photo!!! I assume that the "sunken", darker, sections are to be carved into the crest board? Is the head of the bird raised above the surface of the crest?

I checked my mirror.  In addition to the head and neck, a portion of the body is also glued to the backboard wood, as TomM's photo shows.  PSP
If I recall, most of the body is proud of the crest rail.  As is a portion of the wings.  The end of the wings and tail are carved below the veneer into the substrate. I'll try and dig out the crest (another one of my incompleted projects...) and get better "topography" for you this weekend.
Well, I'm getting ready to layout/carve the phoenix into the top crest and Jill-the-Cat says "It had better be purr-fect, if not, it'll be a 'cat'astrophe and I'll be a basket case until it's done".


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I promised to post a "topography" of a phoenix. Instead I'll try and post links to several pictures. The body is all proud of the crest, and the wings and tail are all cut into the substrate. The little branch thing is proud. The body portion which was glued to the substrate is 1/2 inch at the thickest point. This phoenix is based on a mirror at Winterthur that Gene taught at Olde Mill around in 2007. My mirror should be completed around 2020 - right after I learn how to gold leaf!

I've never tried linking pictures with Dropbox - but here goes:

All totaled there are 41 Meg total pictures



Perfect photos. I "owe" you several cold beverages for your troubles. I'll try to post photos of the carving that I do.
My work is almost finished. I just have to get the glass cut and the mirror assembled/glued. What would be the best material to put between the back of the mirror and the solid wood backboard?


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Traditionally, one or two layers of woollen cloth were laid over the fragile silvering on the back of glass plates before attaching the backboard(s).

Alternatively, the glue blocks that held the plate in place would also act as stand-offs.