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AN IRISH GEORGE III GILTWOOD MIRROR
AN IRISH GEORGE III GILTWOOD MIRROR
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JOHN & FRANCIS BOOKER, ESSEX BRIDGE, DUBLIN PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION (LOTS 4 - 7)
AN IRISH GEORGE III GILTWOOD MIRROR

ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN BOOKER, CIRCA 1775

Details
AN IRISH GEORGE III GILTWOOD MIRROR
ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN BOOKER, CIRCA 1775
The triangular broken pediment centred by an acanthus-wrapped and oak leaf-swagged urn above a dentil cornice and fluted frieze, the rectangular plate with double border, the upper part filled with scrolling foliage, flanked by fluted, slightly tapering columns with Corinthian capitals, the lower frieze with leaf clasp or 'watersplash' and flanked by imbricated corbels, the plates apparently original, the original oil gilding largely present beneath 19th century oil gilding
77 x 45¼ in. (196 x 115 cm.)
Provenance
Acquired from Edward A. Nowell, Wells, 31st January 1981.

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Celia Harvey
Celia Harvey

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Lot Essay

This grand Palladian pier glass was almost certainly made by the celebrated and prolific Dublin firm of 'Looking Glass Merchants', 'glass-grinders' and 'glass sellers' established by the brothers Francis and John Booker. The extent of their wares is revealed in their beautiful trade card which incorporates a delicate rococo border interspersed with illustrations and a long detailed list including dressing glasses, lustres, chandeliers and lanterns. The two brothers are listed in premises in Essex Bridge, Dublin, the same address at which their father is recorded from 1715.
Francis Booker married well and rose to become Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1772 though he died later in the same year leaving the business to be carried on by his brother. John, also a carver and gilder, continued the shop in Essex Bridge until 1786 when he moved to Jervis Street. Three years later he too died.
The architectural composition of this mirror is very close in form to designs by William Jones in '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 , London, 2007, fig. 193). Jones's book was available in 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.
The mirror offered here most probably dates from after the death of Francis Booker, and it bears close comparison with a labelled mirror, which featues similar rococo decoration to the tablet (ibid., p.144, fig.194).
Related mirrors that have been offered recently include one from the Collection of The Knight of Glin, Glin Castle, sold Christie's, London, 7 May 2009, lot 51 (£61,650 including premium), and another sold anonymously Christie's, London, 9 June 2011, lot 281 (£49,250 including premium).

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