A George III Chippendale Period Gilt-Wood Mirror

Height: 78 1/4" 199cm
Width: 37" 94cm
Origination: English
Circa: 1765

The central oval plate within a moulded slip entwined with fruiting branches, surrounded by border plates within a moulded acanthus-carved C-scroll frame hung with floral garlands, surmounted by a pierced basket of flowers flanked by flaming urns.

Private Collection, London.

This is a well-balanced and coherently designed mirror with graceful curves and trailing foliage leading the eye on a journey. Its execution is clearly the work of a superior carver as illustrated by the depth and confidence of the carved detail.

There can be no doubt that this mirror was created by a carver working to his own design rather than being the work of a craftsman copying a published design. This is an important distinction to make and explains why there is not a published design for this mirror but rather the closest comparison is with a Chippendale design for a ‘Pier Glass Frame’ published in the first edition of the Director, pl. CXLVI.

An analysis of the gilding has revealed that the decoration visible today is the original gesso and water-gilding, with some fairly recent patched repairs to the water-gilding. Samples taken from the edges of the mirror reveal splashes of several layers of 19th-century house paint over a thick layer of dirt covering the gilding, which probably indicate that when the unknown house that this mirror previously occupied was re-decorated, the mirror itself remained on the wall.

F. Lewis Hinckley, Queen Anne & Georgian looking Glasses, pl. 225
A very similar mirror

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