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CIRCA 1755

CIRCA 1755
The central oval plate within a moulded slip entwined with fruiting branches, surrounded by border plates within a moulded acanthus-carved C-scroll frame hung with floral garlands, surmounted by a pierced basket of flowers flanked by flaming urns, some border plates replaced, minor refreshments to the original gilding
79 x 41 in. (200 x 104 cm.)
Acquired from Fernandez & Marche, London.
Anonymous sale (A Private Collection from Eaton Square); Christie’s, London, 2 May 2013, lot 50.
Herbert F. Schiffer, The Mirror Book, Pennsylvania, 1983, p. 128, no. 300 (as attributed to John Linnell).
Special notice
Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Royal (details below) or will be removed from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London, SW1Y 6QT by 5.00pm on the day of the sale. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. If the lot has been transferred to Crozier Park Royal, it will be available for collection from 12.00pm on the second business day following the sale. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crozier Park Royal. All collections from Crozier Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s, 8 King Street, it will be available for collection on any working day (not weekends) from 9.00am to 5.00pm Cancellation under the EU Consumer Rights Directive may apply to this lot. Please see here for further information.

Brought to you by

Amelia Walker
Amelia Walker Director, Specialist Head of Private Collections

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Lot Essay

This flower-festooned pier glass is conceived in the George II 'Modern' or 'Pittoresque' fashion popularised in the 1750s and disseminated through the publication of the St. Martin's Lane cabinet-maker Thomas Chippendale's Director in 1754 (1st edition). The design for this mirror, with its central oval plate surrounded by border plates framed by C-scrolls wrapped with foliage and garlands and the angles capped with urns, relates to Chippendale's design for a 'Pier Glass Frame' published in the first edition of the Director, pl. CXLVI. This design almost certainly inspired the magnificent pair of white-painted (and later gilded) pier glasses Chippendale supplied to William Crichton-Dalrymple, 5th Earl of Dumfries, for Dumfries House, Ayrshire in 1759; though in the Dumfries commission Chippendale left the borders empty of glass and inserted a bust of a Chinese gentleman into the cresting, where previously he had drawn two children playing with a bird. An identical mirror, with minor variations to the carving of the flower-filled basket cresting and the urns, was sold anonymously at Phillips, London, 16 June 1992, lot 90.

The design of this mirror, with its distinctive carved crest of a basket of flowers, is also reflected in a drawing of c. 1755-60 for a pier glass by the father and son firm of William and John Linnell, which was executed as a pair of mirrors carved in the rococo taste, with mirror glass borders (akin to the present mirror) and candle branches attached to the base, for Sir Molyneux Cope, 7th Bt. (d. 1765) for Bramshill, Hampshire (H. Hayward and P. Kirkham, William and John Linnell: Eighteenth Century Furniture Makers, London, 1980, p. 98, figs. 187-188). A documented mirror made by the Linnell firm and supplied on 18 August 1759 to George William Coventry, 6th Earl of Coventry (1722-1809) for Lady Coventry's Dressing Room at Croome Court, Worcestershire, also features a pierced basket, beautiful floral trails and deeply-carved scrolls to its cresting, similar to the present mirror, rendering an attribution for the latter to the Linnell firm a distinct possibility (sold from the collection of Ambrose Congreve, Mount Congreve, Ireland; Christie's, London, 23 May 2012, lot 100, £313,250).

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