You're probably used to seeing the old gutta percha 'Union' cases, into which old photographs were placed, such as daguerreotypes, more often ambrotypes and tintype photos, but you don't often see it in surviving hand mirrors. Gutta percha (sometimes referred to as thermoplastic, which is a misnomer) was something of a forerunner of later plastic, and was cast into molds, able to conform to intricately carved bas relief sculptured molds as you see here. I've heard varied info about what went into this compound, some reporting tree resins/sap; very fine sawdust; even blood; but I am not sure exactly what it is. Experts? At any rate, it is beautifully represented here in a Victorian hand mirror casing, with old mercury 'silvered' mirror, which is pealing (as they all did). Beautiful to hang on the wall, particularly agianst a fine old toille wallpaper, folks. Stunning!
Good to very good condition, with excellent gutta percha and moderate mirror - needs to have silvering stripped and a thin mirror replacement if you wish to use it as a mirror. Better to display on wall or with gutta percha photo cases collection, I think. Photos tell it all. Measurements noted on photos.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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