By Nancy Mirek

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Nancy is a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, otherwise known as NAWCC, and has attended Reverse Painting On Glass classes by Lee Davis.

& GOLD LEAF by Nancy

Reverse-Glass Painting has long been practiced in the Orient and its greatest popularity in America was during the early 1800s. Reverse Painting on Glass were in clocks and some mirrors.

This special type of art form, Reverse Glass Painting, requires the artist to paint the design on one side of the glass while it will be viewed from the other.

Move your mouse Cursor (mouse over) photo to view the before image.
Reverse glass painting scenes, which are not symmetrical, must be painted in mirror image so that when the glass is turned over and viewed from the front, those objects up close must be painted on first. Those objects viewed in the background are painted on last.
If the Reverse Glass Painting has Gold Leaf, it goes on before any painting. One mistake may ruin the work and cause the artist to start over; therefore, artist skills and Reverse Painting on Glass skills both are needed.
Many historians have stated that the Reverse Painting on Glass used in the early shelf clocks was probably women living in the communities where the clocks were made doing the artistry, however, evidence of this and or the techniques used during that period are sketchy.
Reverse Glass Painting, used in conjunction with shelf clocks in America, took place from about 1815 through 1850. A decal process that was to become what is now the modern decal replaced it. Reverse Painting almost became extinct except for a brief time during the Victorian era when it enjoyed resurgence.

The French have a more elegant name for the art form, Eglomise. This is in honor of Glomi, a French (or Swiss) decorator, who painted in Gold Leaf on glass. An Eglomise should be of Gilt on Glass. The terminology is now used for any painted panel.


The original Reverse Glass Painting had several attempts to repair that distracted from the overall quality of the clock.

Two replacements of this original Reverse Glass Painting, one for the customer, one for sale.

Two replacements of missing original Reverse Glass Painting, one for the customer, one for sale.
Note! The color in the photo is off due to the difficulties of photographing such a reflective Reverse Glass Painting artwork with all the black and gold leaf.
Wall Pictures
Dial Restoration and Painting by Nancy