Last Updated: Apr 05, 2018     Views: 637

There is information on the John J. Kinsella Co. in Chicago, IL. and they did make and sell mirrors, but I can only find substantial information about their stained glass products.

John J. Kinsella was in existence from 1872-1931 and was one of the larger firms producing stained glass and mirrors in Chicago at the time, employing some 50 people, according to the publication, Frueh's Chicago Stained Glass.

You can see stained glass windows by Kinsella in the following Chicago buildings: St. James Lutheran Church 2048 North Fremont Street St. John Berchmans Church 2519 West Logan Boulevard St. James Chapel Quigley Preparatory Seminary North 631 North Rush st Seminary Chapel St. Mary of the Lake Seminary Mundelein, Illinois The St. James window is particularly noted by Frueh as "of exceptional technical and artistic merit" particularly the Gethsemane window.

Apparently John J. Kinsella was quite an accomplished artist.  There was a 2007 exhibition of his stained glass work at the Community Hall of of the DesPlaines Valley Public Library in Lockport, where Kinsella lived.

This is from an announcement of the exhibit:

"Kinsella was raised on a farm between Lockport and Joliet, and at the age of 21, established his own studios in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood.  He helped to pioneer the "Favrile" style of glass invented by John LaFarge and L.C. Tiffany and his works, considered equal to the great masters' landmarks, decorate many Chicago and southwest suburbs' cathedrals.
More than 200 images depicting stories of the Old and New Testaments are seen in the photographic essay that chronicles Kinsella Studios' most outstanding and award winning glass canvasses. Among these are The Memorial Window at St. Dennis  Catholic Church in Lockport, God's Promise at St. John Berchmanns in Logan Square, and the world famous Lancet Windows of St. James Chapel in Chicago.
The St. James windows alone required six years to be installed and are composed of fifteen individual lancets that stand nine feet wide by forty feet tall. The early 20th century hand painted masterpieces replicate those at St. Chappelle, the Reliquary in Paris which holds the crown of thorns worn by Jesus at the cross."
There are advertisements and directory listings for Kinsella glass and mirrors I have found in searching various online full-text repositories, but they don't say anything about the actual products or show any images. I have looked for catalogs which might contain Kinsella mirrors but I have struck out so far. Kinsella died in 1915, but his company stayed in business for another 15 or so years. I attached a couple of examples to show you what I was finding.

I'm wondering if you might have better luck contacting the Chicago Historical Society or the Lockport Historical Society (where Kinsella was born)?

We have had at least one other person contact us about a Kinsella mirror, so they are definitely in circulation!

Please let  me know if you have further questions.



Comments (4)

  1. I have an oval mirror from Chicago mirror and art glass from October 7, 1912 (on a stamp on the back). What can you tell me about this mirror?
    by Lisa on Feb 15, 2017.
  2. I have one. Just discovered tonight the label was behind the mirror and behind the cardboard backside. Had no idea. My son was freaked out as it is shaped like a tombstone, but it is very ornate on the top mirror side.
    by Karen on Jul 26, 2017.
  3. I just found out I have one too.
    It was my Grandmothers and it's marked June 2, 1916.
    The back just fell off and I saw the sticker...
    by Mary on Feb 20, 2018.
  4. I have a 27 X 47 mirror
    John j Kinsella Co Mfg. High Grade Mirrors Chicago
    Mar 2 192?
    I have had it on the living room wall for about 30 years and just just now looked at the back. Any idea why I cannot find on Ebay or Google?
    by Joe on Oct 26, 2018.

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