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A George II Parcel Gilt and Burr Walnut Mirror
English, circa 1730

A magnificent and very rare George II parcel gilt and burr walnut architectural pier mirror. The rectangular bevelled plate within a moulded burr walnut frame, the inner edge decorated with gilt gesso strap work decoration, the gilded cornice with broken pediment, cartouche, and egg and dart moulding, the sides with gilded highlights. An unusual tall form, with wonderful burr walnut walnut veneers of exceptional colour and detailing, and a lovely moulded shaped lower edge.

The architect James Gibbs (1682-1754) designed a ‘sconce’ pattern in the 1720s that relates closely to the present mirror’s husk-festooned tablet frame with its moulded cornice surmounted by a serpentine and flowered pediment. Gibbs was one of the most influential architects in 18th century Britain who was known for his designs that reflected both the English Baroque style and Palladian taste. Some of his most notable commissions that can be seen today are St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Radcliffe Camera at Oxford University, and Senate House at Cambridge University.

In addition to his architectural achievements, Gibbs published A Book of Architecture, containing designs of buildings and ornaments in 1728, which included 380 designs for buildings and for ornament. According to John Summerson, his designs became ‘probably the most widely-used architecture book of the century, not only throughout Britain, but in the American colonies and the West Indies.’ This mirror reflects the classical architectural principles espoused by Gibbs.

One of Gibbs’ only surviving interior schemes is now installed at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The Drawing Room of No. 11 Henrietta Street was designed by Gibbs and features an overmantel with a broken pediment centred with the arms of the Allen family, who occupied the residence in the second half of the eighteenth century.

The present mirror also relates to a pair of mirrors featuring a similar serpentine apron that display the Orlebar family coat-of-arms on a scrolled cartouche. The Orlebar mirrors were part of the furnishing at Hinwick House, Northamptonshire and later formed part of the collection put together by Percival Griffiths at Sandrigebury, St. Albans.

Height 164.00cm (64.57 inches)
Width 73.00cm (28.74 inches)


Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd

Reference - J04.39