The imposing figure of Britannia presides over the arts as represented by putti bearing attributes of painting and architecture. This unusual design bears a striking similarity to the title page for designer/carver Thomas Johnson's Collection of Designs of 1758 (see H. Hayward, Thomas Johnson and English Rococo, London, 1964, pl. 1) which is dedicated to Lord Blakeney, 'Grand President of the Anti-Gallican Association and to the Brethren of the Order' of which Johnson was himself a member. While the Association was founded 'to oppose the insidious arts of the French Nation', it is ironic that Johnson clearly transposes elements from French patterns. In this case, the putti derive from the earlier designs of Bernard Toro in his Livre de Tables de diverses forms of circa 1716 (reproduced op. cit., pl. 178-184). Blakeney (d. 1761), an elderly war hero was an unlikely patron for Johnson whose main goal was to establish himself among his fellow artists. An anonymous drawing of a pier table and mirror which incorporates Britannia is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (see P. Ward-Jackson, English Furniture Designs of the Eighteenth Century, London, 1958, pl. 184).
While the mirror's original commission has not come to light, it once formed part of the celebrated collections of Walter Chrysler.