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    Sale 7813

    Glin Castle - A Knight in Ireland

    7 May 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 51

    AN IRISH GEORGE II GILTWOOD MIRROR

    BY JOHN AND FRANCIS BOOKER, CIRCA 1750

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN IRISH GEORGE II GILTWOOD MIRROR
    BY JOHN AND FRANCIS BOOKER, CIRCA 1750
    With later central plate and border plates, the frame with Corrinthian column uprights and Greek pediment cresting centred by an acanthus vase, the base with lappeted scrolled supports, the reverse with the shadow of the trade label of Francis and John Booker of Essex Bridge, Dublin, later applied onto a separate Phillips & Harris' card, the plates and applied drapery largely replaced, regilded in the 19th Century with traces of earlier gilding visible
    68 x 43½ in. (173 x 110.5 cm.)


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    This grand Palladian pier glass was made by the celebrated 'Looking Glass Merchants', 'glass-grinders' and 'glass sellers', Francis and John Booker. It bears the remains of the brother's label on the reverse with their names neatly framed by a rococo border. It must date from soon after their father's death (John Booker died in 1750) as its ornament shows no hint of the rococo flourishes that adorn their later work. The extent of their wares is revealed in the beautiful trade card (lot 52) which incorporates a delicate rococo border interspersed with illustrations and a long detailed list. The two brothers are listed in premises in Essex Bridge, Dublin which is where their father is recorded from 1715. Francis Booker rose to become Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1772 and died later that year, leaving the business to be carried on by his brother. John Booker, who was also a carver and gilder, continued the shop in Essex Bridge until 1786 when he moved to Jervis Street. Three years later he was also dead, and the experience of two generations of looking-glass sellers died with him.

    The architectural composition of this mirror is very close in form to designs by William Jones in his The Gentleman's or Builders Companion containing a variety of useful designs for doors, gateways, peers, pavilions, temples, chimney-pieces, slab tables, pier glasses, or tabernacle frames, ceiling pieces, etc., 1739 (see Irish Furniture, fig. 193). Jones's book was imported into Dublin in the same year and was sold for 12s. by Robert Owen in Skinners Row; and one can easily imagine a well worn copy owned by the Bookers at 6 Essex Bridge.

    Although they seldom appear on the market, this pier glass belongs to a documented group by the Booker brothers, formerly at Charleville, Co. Enniskerry, and in the collection of the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, amongst others, discussed in Irish Furniture, fig. 194, cat. nos. 224-226.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Acquired from Phillips & Harris circa 1970.


    Literature

    The Knight of Glin, 'A Family of Looking-Glass Merchants', Country Life, 28 January 1971, pp. 195-199.
    Glin & Peill, Irish Furniture, 2007, p. 141, fig. 190.