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A Charles II silver-mounted mirror
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A Charles II silver-mounted mirror


A Charles II silver-mounted mirror
Maker's mark only of William Fowle, circa 1683
Rectangular with detachable serpentine cresting, with reeded silver mounts chased with a chinoiserie border of stylised flowers, foliage, fruit and birds, applied with acanthus leaves at the angles, the cresting repoussée and chased with scrolling foliage and a central foliate wreath above a chased chinoiserie scene of figures in a landscape with temples, trees, birds, ornamental gates and flowering foliage, the wreath later engraved with a coat-of-arms, the wooden frame with adjustable easel back, with later bevelled mirror and wood back, marked on side with maker's mark only, also engraved with scratchweight '33-5'
23¼in. (59cm.) high
The arms are those of Grenville quartering Leofric, Temple, Brooke and Nugent with Nugent in pretence for George Grenville, 3rd Earl Temple and 1st Marquess of Buckingham (1753-1813) K.G. and his wife Lady Mary Elizabeth Nugent, elder daughter and co-heir, with her sister Lady Louisa Nugent, of The Earl Nugent, whom he married in 1775

For the same maker's mark see Ian Pickford, ed., Jackson's Silver & Gold Marks of England, Scotland and Ireland, 1989, p.139
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis

Lot Essay

This mirror was once the centrepiece of the Duchess of Buckingham's chinoiserie toliet-service. It would appear to have become separated from the service by the Stowe sale in 1848. The sale catalogue lists a service of some 30 pieces which were sold Stowe House, Christie's House-sale, 15 August - 25 September 1848, lots 613-630 'TOILETTE PLATE, engraved with Chinese subjects'. A bowl made later by David Willaume in 1737, to extend the service, was sold Christie's London, 13 July 1994, lot 109.

The maker of this mirror, William Fowle, is best known for the Calverley toilet-service of 1683-4, with cast plaques rather than chinoiserie decoration, which is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. A second similar service by him, of the same year was in the collection of J. Pierpont Morgan (Christie's New York, 26 October 1982, lot 40) and is now in the Al Tajir collection. A chinoiserie service, the Normanton toilet service also by William Fowle and again 1683-4 is in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (C. Dauterman 'Dream Pictures of Cathay', Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of New York, New York, Summer, 1964). Various other chinoiserie decorated pieces by William Fowle appear to date almost entirely from 1683-4. The identification of this maker and his work is discussed by David Mitchell in 'Dressing Plate by the "unknown" London silversmith "WF"', The Burlington Magazine, June, 1993 pp. 386-400.


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