Antique glass designs

Antique glass designs

Add a touch
of old-world luxe to your home with bespoke gilded and antiqued glass surfaces.

Whether
it’s a glimmer in an alcove or an entire decorative wall, antiqued glass is
enjoying a renaissance in interiors. The process of applying squares of metal
leaf and paint to the reverse of clear glass dates back to before the Roman
era, but it was 18th-century French art dealer Jean-Baptiste Glomy who
popularised gilding and used the technique to decorate frames for Marie
Antoinette.

His method
was later named verre eglomise. Antiquing glass, or silvering, is achieved by
using chemicals on mirrored glass to emulate the patination of silver-backed
mirrors. Over time, the surface oxidises, creating a clouded, mottled effect
that has become a sought-after finish in its own right. Here, we explore three
ways to use these two historic techniques in a modern home.

Antique glass designs

In the
kitchen.

Create a
unique partition in an open-plan kitchen/diner with an antiqued mirror-backed
cabinet. This one by Rupert Bevan also works aesthetically to offset the
distressed-look surface of the pillars in the kitchen. It is made using Bevan’s
own method of silvering: he oxidises the glass, which allows a chemical
reaction to take place that imitates the material’s natural ageing process. The
glass tends to continue patinating subtly over time, which further adds to the
effect. As each piece is bespoke, it can be treated to suit any style, from
classical to Art Deco.

Antique glass designs

As an
artwork.

Gilded
glass can be used to create beautiful works of art. Emma Peascod created this
verre eglomise panel for Skye Gyngell’s Spring restaurant. She gilds the glass
by working materials such as fine Japanese papers onto the surface, and also
uses copper and brass leaf as alternatives to the traditional silver and gold.
The lighter the glue used during the process, the more reflective the metal
leaf finish will be – Peascod uses just a touch of gelatin dissolved in water
and a brush to adhere the delicate metal leaf to the glass.

On the wall.

For a
no-expense-spared focal point to the room, it is also possible to cover entire
walls in verre eglomise. Katherine Pooley, who designed this living room
(left), chose the finish because ‘the glorious three-dimensional texture brings
a vast amount of light to a space in a more interesting way than a standard
reflective surface’. Fameed Khalique uses metal leaf to create his intricate
surfaces, and believes that this look epitomises luxury in interiors. ‘It
is all about artisanal, handcrafted bespoke finishes’.



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