Gerrit Jensen: A William and Mary Marquetry Mirror
england , circa 1690
An exceptional very large scale William and Mary walnut and fruitwood marquetry wall mirror with elaborate shaped cresting in the manner of Gerrit Jensen. The rectangular mirror plate within a cushion-moulded border elaborately inlaid with trailing flowerheads, foliage, and scrolling arabesques, with bone-inlaid floral details.
With Asprey & Co., London, November 1977 An Important Private Swiss Collection
Height: 64.57 in (164 cm) Width: 40.94 in (104 cm)
A related mirror, circa 1675, with similar floral marquetry and of virtually identical dimensions formed part of the collection of the 1st Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale, at Ham House, Surrey. The Ham House mirror has recently been attributed to Gerrit Jensen (d. 1715), who was Dutch by birth but established his workshop in London’s St. Martin’s Lane as a ‘Cabbinet maker and Glasse seller’ for notable patrons. In addition to the mirror at Ham House, Jensen is thought to have supplied several other marquetry pieces with similar floral decoration, including three tables and a cabinet.
Jensen was one of the principal cabinet makers for the Royal family and supplied a number of pieces for both William and Mary and Queen Anne. The accounts of the Royal Household indicate that his mirrors were the most expensive pieces he supplied, including a set of four mirrors for the ‘Painted Gardain Roome’ at Hampton Court for £320. He supplied a magnificent marquetry mirror of similar form and decoration to the present mirror that remains in the Royal Collection, which may correspond to a record in the accounts for ‘att Windsor Castle Queenes Side/In ye Gallery/For a Table, Stands a glasse Inlayd in wallnuttree the glasse 39 inches £40.’
Jensen’s output reflects the influence of both his Dutch heritage and the French styles of his contemporaries Pierre Golle, a master of marquetry, and Daniel Marot. Gervase Jackson-Stops writes that Jensen’s marquetry work ‘is of such high quality that it deserves, like that of Thomas Chippendale, to stand for the work of a whole generation of English cabinet makers.’