The back of this mirror frame reveals a lot about its pedigree and heritage .. (photo 4)
It has been carefully and painstakingly crafted. The carcass timber and framing blocks are all original and have never been disturbed. They have all been chiselled and parred down by hand to reduce their thickness and weight.
There is a carved date to the back of the crest ‘1741’ and the word ‘London’ together with a carved coat of arms (unidentified) featuring a cormorant or heron? The rough hewn backboards have never been disturbed confirming the originality of the plate glass within.
There are some spots of corrosion to the silvered back of the mirror plate itself but it reflects true and clear. It has been carefully framed by a border of well cut cross grained mouldings, each of short sections of solid walnut, chiselled on their inner edges and picked out with parcel gilding for added definition.
The overall design of the frame is gentle and unassuming. The veneers are not showy, highly figured or burred, but cut from straight grain English walnut. And the profiles of the crest and apron are nicely curved and shaped, but in the restrained manner of considered early Georgian taste.
In summary, this mirror was not made as an eye catching brash centrepiece intended to impress house visitors, but as a properly made quality item designed to sit comfortably but unobtrusively in the home – perhaps for a lady’s dressing room.
I think this mirror tells us something about good 18th century interior design, taste and careful construction; qualities which have often been forgotten in more recent times.
Dimensions: 33 inches tall, 18 inches wide