An Attractive Early 20thC Japanned Chinoiserie Decorated Dressing Table Mirror

Origin: English
Period: Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1900-10
Height: 22 inches
Width: 17.75 inches (at widest point)
Depth: 9 inches (at maximum)

The attractively shaped turn of the century period japanned pine swing frame easel backed dressing table mirror having shaped glass on dwarf scroll legs, the whole decorated with Chinoiserie decoration to include gardens, pagodas, floral spandrels, Asian-style foliage and idealistic scenes.

The condition is tired but beautifully true with the mirror frame and glass in original condition with no restoration, replacement, or repairs. The mirror swings freely and the easel stand is sturdy. There are areas of heavy wear and oxidisation to the chinoiserie decoration and some scratch marks to the original mirror plate but we think these are desirable and would not encourage any kind of meddling or restoration.

The form of the dressing table, or vanity, began to develop in the late 17th century in Europe.  Eventually, in the later 19th century, the dressing table, like other cabinet furniture, became a matching part of the bedroom suite. A tabletop mirror such as this would have performed its duties in the same way but was portable and thus of great use for any well-procured female.

The fine art of chinoiserie has been in existence since the 17th century, and it depicts Chinese style designs applied to furniture, ceramics and fabrics. Chinoiserie is wonderfully beautiful, and tends to depict realistic and fictitious animals, insects, people, foliage, structures and various other elaborate Asian designs that can be incorporated into a number of decorating themes. Antique pieces embellished with Asian-style chinoiserie and high-quality japanning are coated with baked-on layers that look very much like modern-day high-gloss enamel. Chinoiserie that has been japanned is coated with many layers of resin-based gloss and baked dry. Much polishing goes into the true technique of japanning, and high-quality pieces will appear to have deep layers of gloss with the sheen of fine marble, but true antique pieces like this will show signs of age and wear.

Deliciously decorative.