A Victorian Gilt-Gesso Framed Wall Mirror c.1840 & Later

Origin: English
Period: Early-Victorian & Later
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1840 the frame, c.1890 the plate
Width: 28.5”
Height: 33”
Depth: 3“ (all at extremities)

The very attractive and good quality gilded gesso framed wall mirror of rectangular form, the later nineteenth century mercury glass being naturally but not entirely distressed, within the well carved gesso rococo revival type frame of stiff leaf spandrels to an inner border, with the carvers label to the reverse for John Marshman Hill of Bath, the whole surviving from the early Victorian period and later.

The mirror is in very original, attractive, decorative aged condition. It is almost certain that the very good quality frame once held an art work, the back boards are absent but the plate is held sturdily in its position and the frame itself is un-meddled with and uncleaned with some losses to the extremities as photographed.

John Marshman Hill (c.1792/4-1865) and his wife Mary lived in Kingsmead St, Bath. The business of J.M. Hill of Bath seems to have originated in the 18th century with that of the carver and gilder, John Deare. Following his death in 1794, Deare was succeeded by his son James. In 1833 John Marshman Hill advertised from his looking-glass warehouse at 9 Kingsmead St as J.M. Hill, late Deare & Hill, carver, gilder, glass and picture frame manufacturer, offering glasses of large dimensions at London terms. By 1841 Hill was trading from 4 Wood St, previously the premises of J. Harrison, carver and gilder (who also offered a picture cleaning service). By 1850, the business was also listed as picture dealers and in 1864 as gilders and picture restorers. Hill’s impressed stamp, reading HILL/ LINER/ BATH, can be found on the stretcher of Thomas Gainsborough’s John Palmer.

A highly evocative yet still eminently useable mirror that conjures all the glories of high Victoriana and a very high-quality frame indeed.