A Fine Pair of 19th Century, George III Style, Neo-Classical Pier Mirrors
A Fine Pair of 19th Century, George III Style, Neo-Classical Pier Mirrors
A Fine Pair of 19th Century, George III Style, Neo-Classical Pier Mirrors
A Fine Pair of 19th Century, George III Style, Neo-Classical Pier Mirrors
A Fine Pair of 19th Century, George III Style, Neo-Classical Pier Mirrors
A Fine Pair of 19th Century, George III Style, Neo-Classical Pier Mirrors
A Fine Pair of 19th Century, George III Style, Neo-Classical Pier Mirrors
A Fine Pair of 19th Century, George III Style, Neo-Classical Pier Mirrors
A Fine Pair of 19th Century, George III Style, Neo-Classical Pier Mirrors

In the manner of ROBERT ADAM (1728-1792)

A Fine Pair of 19th Century, George III Style, Neo-Classical Pier Mirrors

c. 1900 England

Offered by Adrian Alan

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A Fine Pair of 19th Century, George III Style, Neoclassical Pier Mirrors, in the manner of Robert Adam.

This elegant and ornate pair of pier glasses, with their mirrored frames ornamented with trailing husk pendants, sacred urns, flame guarding griffins and painted roundels, are designed in the neo-classical manner promoted by the architect Robert Adam (d.1792).

The frames are carved with a confident yet delicate 19th century eclectic approach, incorporating many of the characteristic elements of Robert Adam’s designs from the 1770s. The crestings are conceived in the Etruscan style, with rails of palmette running pattern centred by oval plaques. Each plaque is painted with neo-classical figures to resemble Jasperware and surmounted by delicately carved anthemion and flanked by sphinx, guarding sacred flames.

Beneath the cresting rails, at the top of the rectangular mirror plates, are lion masks, connected to the uprights by chains of bellflowers; the tapering uprights carved with trailing husk pendants and surmounted by classical vases with rams head handles.

The base frames of the mirrors have rectangular mirrored panels of fronded and scrolling acanthus arabesque, beneath pairs of carved winged griffin guarding flaming classical vases; the griffin and vases extending over the base of the mirror plates.

Best known as one of the mythical chimerical beasts, griffin were creatures with the head, wings and claws of an eagle, and the body and hind legs of a lion. They were closely linked with Apollo and in the classical period represented divine power, guardians of treasure and sacred possessions.

The griffin and vase motif derives from a pattern invented by Robert Adam in 1772 for the Earl of Bute at Luton Park, Bedfordshire and illustrated in the The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, vol.III, pl.XI, 1822, intended to convey the idea of sacrifice at loves altar. An overmantel by Adam incorporating this device was commissioned by John Papillon Twisden for his Bradbourne estate in Kent in 1772 and is now in the collection of the Victora & Albert Museum, London, illustrated in H.F. Schiffer, The Mirror Book: English, American & European, Pennsylvania: 1938 (figs 469 and 470).

Similar griffins also appear in designs for decorative plasterwork by Robert Adam, for example on the ceilings of the Gallery and Hall at Harewood House, Yorkshire, and in the Long Gallery at Syon House, London.

Pier Glasses were large decorative mirrors designed to be placed on the wall or 'pier' between windows and often an important element of Adam's unified interior schemes. Not only did they have a decorative purpose, but provided an important functional use, creating a reversal of dynamic with the windows at night, reflecting and maximising the light given off by candles or oil lamps.

These elegant and sophisticated 19th century mirrors demonstrate the enduring appeal of neo-classicism and the lasting influence of the ‘Adam Style’ on British architecture and interior design.
Dimensions
Height 183.00 cm (72.05 inches)
Width 91.00 cm (35.83 inches)
Depth 7.00 cm (2.76 inches)
Stock Code
B72610
Medium
Giltwood
Adrian Alan

Adrian Alan
66/67 South Audley Street
London
W1K 2QX
England

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