A George III giltwood overmantel mirror by Thomas Chippendale.
Note: The mirror retains much of the original gilding and has a replaced 18th century mirror plate. The anthemion cresting was originally fitted directly to the wall and is now attached to the mirror frame.
The library at Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire, England, is to date the only library known to have been designed and furnished in its entirety by Chippendale. It is the result of a harmonious relationship between James Paine and the Chippendale workshop, in contrast with William Chambers’s fractious relationship with Chippendale at Melbourne House, Piccadilly, London.
An inventory of Brocket Hall from 1888 lists the mirror in the library: ‘a Chimney Glass in carved and gilt frame’.
The mirror was sold in the Brocket Hall sale by the auctioneer Foster of Pall Mall in 1923. Surprisingly the accompanying cresting with its trailing husks, applied separately to the wall, was sold separately as the following lot, but fortunately the central cresting was preserved and reunited with the mirror afterwards. The whereabouts of the husks, however, are not known. The photograph by Country Life of the mirror in situ in the library was taken prior to the sale. The sale catalogue described the mirror as: ‘An Adam mirror, in Carved and Gilt Frame, fluted and beaded borders, with carved satyr masks and foliage at sides, and centre oblong panel with lion mask and bay-leaf festoons, and surmount of foliate scroll-work.’
Messrs. Foster, Pall Mall, London, sale catalogue, 7–12 March 1923, p. 40, lots 414–15.
H. Avray Tipping, ‘Brocket Hall II, Hertfordshire’, Country Life, 11 July 1925, p. 60.
H Avray Tipping, English Homes, Period VI, vol. I, ‘Late Georgian 1760–1820’, 1926, p. 16, illus. 25.
Chippendale Society Newsletter, July 2006.
Adam Bowett and James Lomax, Thomas Chippendale 1718–1779: A Celebration of British Craftsmanship and Design, 2018, pp. 104–5.
Sir Peniston Lamb, 1st Viscount Melbourne, Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire, England.
Private collection, England.
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