A George III giltwood Robert Adam period borderglass mirror
A George III giltwood Robert Adam period borderglass mirror

A George III giltwood Robert Adam period borderglass mirror

c. 1790 England

Offered by Ossowski

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Original side plates; hand bevelled centre plate later; mainly original gilding.

This style of mirror has been made for over 200 years because nearly everyone likes them and they go with everything. Unlike the showier rococo examples from earlier in the 18th century, these looking-glasses don’t demand to become the focus of a room but blend in with it (while exuding “Taste”.)

This style of frame having been made for so many years means that there are a lot of more recent nasty examples around. Heavy, thick detailing, often made from composition rather than wood, gold paint, that sort of thing; so care needs to be taken when choosing one.

By contrast this looking-glass is a fine example of precise wood-carving ability and of late 18th century neoclassicism, expressing the excitement of rediscovering the Classical World’s decorative language. Robert Adam - “Bob the Roman” and James Stuart - “Athenian Stuart” were the two men who probably did the most to promote the new style in Britain. Of the two, Adam was the more commercially successful (though he also had some disasters) and whose name is now synonymous with the style.

[There is a good book about Stuart - James Athenian Stuart, The Rediscovery of Antiquity edited by Susan Weber Soros.]
Dimensions
Height 45.50 inch (115.57 cm)
Width 32.00 inch (81.28 cm)
Ossowski

Ossowski
83 Pimlico Road
London
SW1W 8PH
England

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