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A PAIR OF FEDERAL GILT AND EGLOMISE PIER MIRRORS
A PAIR OF FEDERAL GILT AND EGLOMISE PIER MIRRORS
A PAIR OF FEDERAL GILT AND EGLOMISE PIER MIRRORS
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Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s F… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE WESTERVELT COMPANY
A PAIR OF FEDERAL GILT AND EGLOMISE PIER MIRRORS

AMERICAN OR ENGLISH, 1800-1815

Details
A PAIR OF FEDERAL GILT AND EGLOMISE PIER MIRRORS
AMERICAN OR ENGLISH, 1800-1815
47 in. high, 24 ½ in. wide
Provenance
Possible line of descent:
General Abraham J. Berry (1798-1865), Brooklyn
John Berry (c.1835-1915), son
Anita (Annie)(Berry) Varet (b. c. 1867), daughter
Elvina Louise (Varet) Martin (b. c. 1892), daughter
Virginia Varet (Martin) de Margitay (b. 1926), daughter
Sold, William Doyle Galleries, New York, April, 1975
Ronald S. Kane, New York
Sold, Christie's, New York, 22 January 1994, lot 431
Literature
Tom Armstrong, Amy Coes, Ella Foshay, and Wendell Garrett, An American Odyssey: The Warner Collection of Fine and Decorative Arts (New York, 2001), p. 21.
Special notice

Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) at 5pm on the last day of the sale. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services. Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information. This sheet is available from the Bidder Registration staff, Purchaser Payments or the Packing Desk and will be sent with your invoice.

Condition report

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Lot Essay

Pairs of pier mirrors are extremely rare, with only two other sets known, both of which are in museums. One pair, labeled by John Doggett, is in the Bybee Collection while the other two are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Venable, American Furniture in the Bybee Collection (Dallas, 1989), p. 92, fig. 42; Davidson and Stillinger, The American Wing (New York, 1985), fig. 227). Looking glasses of this size were extremely expensive at their time of manufacture. The imported silvered glass and gold leaf alone were extravagant costs to both the manufacturer and client. John Doggett, for example, sold a pair slightly larger in size and probably with carved elements to Boston merchant Andrew Cunningham in 1807 at the exorbitant cost of $327.00 (see Venable, p. 29, fig. 42). The bacchanal églomisé scene and classical elements depicted on the frame of this pair of looking glasses reflect the enthusiasm for the antique in early nineteenth-century America.

These mirrors have survived with a family history going back to Abraham J. Berry (1798-1865), a prominent Brooklyn physician and Surgeon General of the 2nd Army Corps in the Civil War. His family owned large tracts of land in Williamsburg and, in 1852, he served as Williamsburg's first mayor. According to family tradition, this pair of mirrors is en suite with the General Abraham Berry card tables (Christie’s, New York, 25 September 2013, lot 125); it is possible that they may well have originally been placed over the tables in General Berry's home in Brooklyn as was often the fashion.

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