A Pair of Late 18thC Italian Parcel-Gilt & Painted Wall Mirrors c.1780

Origin: Italian
Period: Late 18thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1780
Height: 28”
Width: 18”
Depth: 1.5” (each & at extremities)

The rare and beautifully evocative eighteenth century carved giltwood and jade green painted and lacquered wall mirrors, in the neoclassical taste, the frames with mottled detailing, probably to simulate tortoiseshell, retaining the original gilded decoration with a double volute shell crested frieze and bullseye roundels to each corner with stylised leaf drops, the mercury glass rectangular mirror plates now beautifully foxed, the wholes surviving from the last quarter of eighteenth century Italy.

The mirrors are in decorative and distressed condition and are attractive in their originality and the fact they have not been re-gilded or meddled with. The original thick mercury glass plate is later to one mirror, probably being late nineteenth century in origin, which is still lightly foxed beautifully but has thicker glass and is showing a crack to the upper right corner, whilst the other plate is original and shows complete wear to the centre as photographed.

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the development of decorative mirrors in Italy. The cylinder process, where cylinders of glass were blown then split open and laid flat, had some limitations meaning that only small plates could be made, so several pieces of glass would be used to create a single mirror. It is far easier to find fully gilded examples and the fact these are green painted is delightful, yet they would have been a cheaper alternative to fully gilded and pierced mirrors for a still wealthy Italian family.

An exquisite pair of wonderfully decorative mirrors that remain in largely the state they were 250 years previous.