A fine George II gesso mirror of excellent proportions


A fine George II gesso mirror of excellent proportions, the moulded frame with shaped base, cresting and corners decorated in gilt gesso carved with foliage, the cresting of the broken swan neck pediment centring on a large cartouche resting on a central plinth above a decorated frieze, the original rectangular bevelled plate of exceptional size with butterfly shaping to the top corners within a low relief moulding with pendant foliate scrolls, elegant plumes centring the apron flanked by scrolled acanthus, fitted with fine scrolled cast brass candle arms.

Overall dimensions:  H 55 inches (139.7 cm) high; 32 inches (81.3 cm) wide;  2.4 inches (6 cm) deep

Plate:  30.5 inches (77.5 cm) high;   24.75 inches (62.9 cm) wide

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The decoration is representative of the quite distinctive and individual relief patterns so frequently found in gesso-coated mirrors.  The design and detail of the low-relief carving throughout is delightful – a clever and stylish repeating pattern of light and elegant flower heads and stems, concentrating on a repeating motif of open seed pods. The whole is enhanced by scrolls and foliate sweeps, characterised by what can only be termed an exuberant restraint – smart but with any hint of over-flamboyance carefully curbed to a most elegant and subtle sophistication.


The pattern of small seed pods may relate to the craftsman’s knowledge of the Wild or Tufted Vetch (vicia cracca) a common hedgerow plant; although records show that by 1724 Sweet Pea seed had begun to be commercially available – the fragrant climbing plant becoming increasingly popular throughout the 18th Century.

Financing is available on request via Art Money.

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