These splendid giltwood mirrors are headed by coats-of-arms held by lions, surmounted by a crown and above the order of the Golden Fliece. The arms are those of Thurn und Taxis and Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg, for Count Eugen Alexander von Thurn und Taxis (1652-1714) and Countess Adelheid von Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg (1659-1701), who were married in Vienna in 1678. The mirrors were perhaps executed on the occasion of their marriage, but certainly before 1695, when Count Eugen Alexander was elevated to the rank of Prince or Fürst of the Holy Roman Empire by Emperor Leopold I. This subsequently entitled him to adopt a closed crown, not yet seen on the present mirrors.
Eleborately carved with a rythmic scheme of flat strapwork, acanthus scrolls issuing from scrolls and rosettes, festive ribbon-tied trumpets and shells, these mirrors were almost certainly executed in Brussels, where members of the Taxis, and later Thurn und Taxis family had been active as merchants and post masters since the late 15th Century. Brussels remained an important base for them for over two Centuries, from where they had a monopoly of regular posts between the capitals of Europe. The family resided alternatively in the palace in the centre of Brussels and the summer palace just outside the city known as Schloss Beaulieu, which had been built by Count Lamoral Claudius (1621-1676), Count Eugen Alexander's father.
The highly distictive carving of these mirrors relates to that of various items of furniture executed in Antwerp and Brussels around 1700, such as the pierced apron of the cabinet executed by Hendrik van Soest (1659-after 1716) for Philip V of Spain (T. Wolfesperges, Le Meuble en Belgique, Brussels, 2000, p. 149, fig. 45) or the giltwood base of the celebrated table top by Michiel Verbiest (fl. 1648-1689), which was carved by Pieter de Loose (n.d.) in 1689. (ibid, p. 141, fig 41).