A George III Giltwood Overmantel Mirror

Height: 48 1/2" 123cm
Width: 72" 183cm
Origination: English
Circa: 1775

The arched fluted frame with a central crossed foliate spray with draped husks terminating in rosettes above a divided mirror plate.

The arched temple-pedimented overmantel mirror is designed in the antique fashion promoted in the 1770s by George III’s Rome-trained architect Robert Adam (d.1792). The mirrored frame, for the reed¬banded Roman tablet glass, has an antique fluted base-rail flanked by pilasters rising from Grecian ribbon-frets while the crest’s trophy of beribboned palms and Apollonian sunflowered libation-patera are festooned with poetic laurels.

The frame’s base and cresting correspond to that of an overmantel mirror that is likely to have been commissioned by John Papillon Twisden at the time of his inheritance of the Bradbourne estate in Kent in 1772. The latter frame’s carved cresting of a Grecian urn guarded by Apollos sacred eagle/lion ‘griffin’, was intended to evoke sacrifices at Love’s altar in antiquity. The mirror, acquired in 1938 by the Victoria and Albert Museum, is illustrated H.F. Schiffer, The Mirror Book: English, American & European, Pennsylvania: 1938 (figs 469 and 470).

A late 18th century mirror with Grecian ribbon-fretted pilasters is also illustrated by H.Schiffer (fig.473).