This elegant mirror, directly inspired by antiquity with Jupiter's eagle suspending 'planetary' orbs and above a tablet of Olympian attributes, was almost certainly made by a Dublin craftsman working alongside the painter and glazier Josias Phillips, whose workshop was located at 6 Wards Hill, Dublin. An overmantel mirror similarly signed to its verre eglomisé panel by 'J. Phillips' bears the trade label of George Beamish (of 17 Bride Street, Dublin, 1789-1795 and then 115 Capel Street, Dublin, 1806-1815) to its reverse and is dated 1809 (The Knight of Glin & James Peill, Irish Furniture: Woodwork and Carving in Ireland from the Earliest Times to the Act of Union, New Haven & London, 2007, p. 268, no. 252).
Charlotte at Werther's tomb was a famous scene from the novel Die Leiden des Jungen Werthers, (The Sorrows of Young Werther) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The novel, published in 1774, recounts an unhappy romantic infatuation that came to an unfortunate end and turned the 24-year-old Goethe, who was previously relatively unknown, into an overnight literary sensation. The design to the top of this mirror was almost certainly inspired by one of the many versions of the scene produced by artists in the immediate aftermath of the publication, such as that engraved by John Raphael Smith after Miss Emma Crewe in 1783, a copy of which is in the British Museum (museum no. 1877,0512.602).
Verre eglomisé is a process of decorating glass by drawing and painting on the reverse side and backing the decoration with metal foil, generally gold or silver leaf. The process is credited to Jean-Baptisté Glomy (d.1786) who lived on the Rue de Bourbon, Paris. Thomas Sheraton utilised the concept in his designs published in The Cabinet Makers' and Upholsterers Encyclopedia, 1805.