The ‘mafia’ mirror

This is another ten pound ebay purchase (if only that was always the upper limit!), sold as a ”handsmade’ Russian mirror over 100 years old’

Russian mirror
Russian mirror

I just had to have it and friends were kind enough to collect it for me. I warned them to take care because the glass was already broken and I explained that the guy had limited English and a strong Eastern European accent and was very hard to pin down over the phone, but they went ahead and arranged a pickup anyway

The mirror is huge, way larger than I had realised, so it took both of them to carry it. I got a call to say that the mirror shifted within its frame on the way to their car and almost dropped out, and at that point the door of the seller’s house was firmly slammed in a ‘your problem now, not ours’ kind of way. We have an in-joke that there may be Eastern European mafia connections as we are unsure whose mirror this actually was or whose house we collected from, and because the guy claimed it belonged to ‘my friend’ a la Borat

back surface of mirror
back of cracked mirror

The first thing we did was to chisel off the bodged wood and plywood backing, which was (clearly) not supporting the weight of the glass. There are no signs of any money or illegal substances stuffed down the back, which is sort of a pity. The glass itself is very heavy with hand painted silvering and it has a nice age. There’s also a lovely deep sinuous bevel which it may not be possible to re-create so we want to keep it despite the huge crack.  I’ll work on the wood frame and we’ve cut cardboard to provide a cushion between the glass and the backing plate. We will try using a windscreen repair kit to stabilise the crack. At least we’ll have a stable template for a new mirror if we really cannot live with the break, but just think what this mirror may have witnessed in its lifetime!