An important and extremely rare pair of late 18th-century Irish oval mirror chandeliers, the original oval mirror plates framed by a band of cabochon cut ‘jewels’ of clear cut glass, each mirror hung with a half two-light chandelier suspended from three decorative chains of glass bell flowers centred by an arm suspending a single large faceted circular drop, all three arms issuing from a half hoop with swagged drops below. The back of one with a trade label for R. & W. Clarke of 40 & 41 Grand Parade, Cork.
This extremely rare and luxurious form of girandole allows the suspended half chandeliers to be reflected in the mirror plates, thereby appearing as a whole, with the faceted border jewels creating a spectacular glittering frame. A similar single example may be seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and illustrated in M. Mortimer, 'The English Glass Chandelier', London, 2000, p. 167, pl. 105.
A related small mirror chandelier may be seen in the Cecil Higgins Museum, Bedford, signed ‘John D. Aykboum’. Aykboum is recorded in the Dublin directories at 15 Grafton Street, Dublin, between 1783 and 1820 as a proprietor of a glass house. Of German descent, he originated from London, where he is recorded as a cut-glass manufacturer, before, like many others, moving to benefit from a burgeoning Dublin.
With R. & W. Clarke, of 40 & 41 Grand Parade, Cork, Ireland.
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