A Regency Giltwood & Gesso Convex Mirror c.1815-25

Origin: English
Period: Regency
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1810-25
Plate Diameter: 11”
Width: 16.75”
Height: 22.5”
Depth: 2” (all at extremities)

The attractive Regency period giltwood and gesso wall mirror having the original convex mirror plate and ebonised reeded slip, surrounded by a thick moulded gilt gesso frame in beautifully worn condition, the edges and base in black bole, surmounted by an acanthus leaf cresting to a pineapple finial, with 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 intact and has attractive foxing across the whole, evenly spread. The gilding is worn to the whole and shows a fabulous patina without having been overpainted or gilded. The reverse shows much of the original fittings and backboards with some later felt nailed reinforcements.

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.  

A very decorative example of Regency finery.