These mirrors are unusual within the group of mid-18th Century giltwood furniture designed by John Vardy for the 5th Duke of Bolton. Although their current visible layer of gilding corresponds to that now on the mirrors and tables associated with the 5th Duke of Bolton's commission to John Vardy (lots 50, and 52-56), they are earlier in style. They are recorded in the Bolton family from the 19th Century.
However, these mirrors are emphatically in the 1740s rococo stylistic idiom of the master carver and ornamentalist Matthias Lock (d.1765), rather than the architectonic late Palladian style favoured by Vardy. It is possible in fact to identify all of the ornament used on these mirrors on the pattern that was plate 2 of Lock's Six Sconces of 1744.
The design epitomises the 'picturesque' fashion of this part of George II's reign. Ceres's fruit and flowers, symbolising Peace and Plenty, festoon their trellised frames, with acanthus-wrapped ribbons serpentining in the natural manner. Gothic quatrefoils fret the bases, while Venus's antique scallop-shell badges are displayed on bubble-embossed cartouches in the voluted and triumphal-arched pediments, celebrating the elements of earth and water.
The mirrors have been gessoed and water gilded twice. The two gildings are separated by a thin skim of gesso. The original gilding layers differ from the other giltwood furniture, but the second gilding layers correspond to the two pairs of pier tables (lots 53 and 55), their mirrors (lots 52 and 54) and the oval pair of mirrors (lot 50).