A Recency Convex Mirror


The round mirror is framed in an ebonized strip surrounded by a profiled gilt frame. The frame is decorated in several places with adjoining leaf motifs.

As is not unusual with this type of mirror from the Regency period, this fine specimen is crowned with an eagle with spread wings, symbolizing victory and strength. The eagle is seated on an ornately carved platform which is supported by acanthus leaves. Two laurel branches stick up and form a semi-circle around the eagle.
Under the mirror is a carved base with two fabulous animals. These animals are the so-called hippocampi, half horse and half fish, which pulled the chariot of Neptune. Like the eagle, sea creatures were a popular decoration in the Regency period, and presumably continued the association with England's rule over the sea.

English furniture designer Thomas Sheraton described the pleasing effect of a convex mirror in his 1803 book ´Cabinet Dictionary´. The amusing and distorting feature of the convex mirror proved very popular over a period of twenty to thirty years.
The convex mirror is a convex mirror through which several points of the space in which it is located can be seen at once. Because of this, such a mirror is also referred to as a ´Butler mirror´.

Around 1810
Carved and gilded limewood
149 x 93 cm

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