A Very Pretty Regency Giltwood & Gesso Convex Mirror Surmounted by an Eagle c.1815

Origin: English
Period: Regency
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1810-25
Plate Diameter: 9.75”
Width: 15.75”
Height: 30”
Depth: 4.25” (all at extremities)

The attractive Regency period giltwood and gesso wall mirror of relatively delicate proportions having the original convex mirror plate and gilded slip, surrounded by a thick moulded gilt gesso frame surmounted by a pedestal and supporting an eagle spread-eagled, the base issuing acanthus leaves and the whole surviving from the first quarter of the nineteenth century.

The mirror is in very original, attractive, decorative aged condition. The original plate glass is in tact and has attractive foxing across the whole, evenly spread and has lost some silvering and is part non-reflecting. The gilding is complete and shows a fabulous patina without having been overpainted or gilded. The reverse shows much of the original fittings.

The convex shape was very popular in the Regency period and appeared in many forms, often with the addition of exotic animals, flora and other decoration. They are known to reflect more light than the comparably sized flat mirrors, also reflecting the entire room and other sources of light. Although made from the mid-18th century, they did not gain great popularity until about 1790. So favoured were they in the early 19th century, that Sheraton’s 1803 Director mentioned under 'Mirrors' only the convex form. Convex mirrors were often placed above the dining room sideboard, which allowed the butler to discretely keep an eye on dinner guests while keeping his back turned.

It is pleasing to find an example of these proportions and one that has not been badly restored or re-gilded. This is very much all about English country house originality; stunning.