• 500 Years Decorative Arts Euro auction at Christies

    Sale 2305

    500 Years Decorative Arts Europe Including Oriental Carpets

    20 April 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 154

    A PAIR OF IRISH GEORGE III GILTWOOD MIRRORS

    ONE SIGNED JOHN CURRAN FECIT DUBLIN AND DATED 1764

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF IRISH GEORGE III GILTWOOD MIRRORS
    ONE SIGNED JOHN CURRAN FECIT DUBLIN AND DATED 1764
    Each with a pierced cresting supported by columns with a floral spray, ruffles and C-scrolls, the sides with floral vinery flanking a later rectangular mirror plate within stippled geometric-carved borders, the apron with a double C-scroll flanked by scrolling foliage, one signed in pencil John Curran [?] Fecit Dublin...Jun [?] 19 1764 and with ink inscription Rebeca Dobson Guildres and NO. 12 FOR MR. CULLEN, the other NO 5 and MUSIC ROOM in pencil, both with printed R STRAHAN & CO. DUBLIN paper depository labels and black stencil SO 4 RA to the reverse, re-gilt
    46 in. (117 cm.) high, 32½ in. (82.5 cm.) wide (2)


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    In an exciting discovery, a previously unrecorded maker, John Curran of Dublin, has signed one mirror frame with a date of 1764. While no maker of this name appears in the Dublin directories in the 1760s, there is listed a Thomas Curran 'Carver' with premises at Martin's Lane 1761) and Liffey Street (1767-83), who may be related to the maker of these mirrors (The Knight of Glin and J. Peill, Woodwork and Carving in Ireland from the Earliest Times to the Act of Union, 2007, p. 292). In addition, the same frame bears the signature of 'Rebeca Dobson Guilder' who may be related to a Samuel Dobson 'carver, gilder, and looking-glass seller' with premises on Abbey Street from 1750-73. His advertisement in the Dublin Courier (22-24 March 1762) reads: 'Carver, Gilder and Glass Grinder, at the Looking-glass warehouse in Abbey-street, Dublin, has laid in large parcels of looking-glass plates from the Vauxhall warehouse in London...he has always made up ready for sale pier and chimney glasses in carved and gilt frames...and keeps the best hands to be had in carving, gilding, etc...' (op. cit.). Samuel Dobson was married to Elizabeth Whinnery who may have continued the business independently from 1772. Another intriguing inscription on one mirror notes 'for Mr. Cullen' and as it is numbered 12, must be part of a larger commission for this client from the maker.

    A mirror of a similar design bearing the maker's label of Frances and John Booker is illustrated in The Knight of Glin and J. Peill, Irish Furniture, New Haven, 2007, p. 266, fig. 243.

    Provenance

    Originally supplied to Mr. Cullen [as per the inscription].


    Saleroom Notice

    The mirrors' dimensions are slightly different. One is 45 in. (114.5 cm.) high, 32½ in. (82.5 cm.) wide, the other is 44½ in. (113 cm.) high, 33 in. (84 cm.) wide.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION (LOT 154)