This mirror may have formed part of the bedroom apartment furnishings commissioned for Sir Thomas Osborne, Bt., 1st Duke of Leeds's house at Wimbledon, Surrey or Kiveton Park, Yorkshire. As John Cornforth has written, it was likely that the ground colours of the verre eglomisé matched a room's hangings and upholstery. This is given further weight by two references to verre eglomisé glasses in the 1727 inventory of the possessions of the Marquess of Carmarthen, the son of the 2nd Duke of Leeds, at Kiveton. The glasses are listed in the South-East Drawing Room on the second floor, close to the Great Apartment and in the North-East Drawing-Room on the first floor. That in the South-East Drawing Room had a green and gold glass frame to match the green caffoy wall hangings and double seat with a black and gold frame and the ten chairs with green serge case covers. The curtains were green 'persian' (a kind of silk). The North-East Drawing Room was decorated in purple and gold with three large glass sconces with purple and glass frames and double silvered brass sockets, a pair of chimney sconces and a looking glass frame, which went above a black table (see J. Cornforth, 'The Fairest of Them All', Country Life, Art & Antiques supplement, 2000, pp. 84-87). The colour red had primacy at the time, so it seems likely that the present mirror once formed part of a grand suite of furniture for a state apartment, most probably the Crimson Bedroom inscribed on the label on the reverse. Kiveton was demolished in 1811 and the mirror is likely to have been among the furnishings brought to Hornby Castle, Yorkshire, which became the principal seat of the Duke of Leeds after they inherited it from the D'Arcy family following the marriage of Francis Osborne, 5th Duke of Leeds to Lady Amelia D'Arcy in 1773. The present pier glass does not appear in the 1839 Inventory of Furniture at Hornby Castle, Selected by Her Grace The Dowager Duchess of Leeds, however neither does the table (lot 50), but it is likely that they were both moved there in the 19th century.
The triumphal-arched pier glass, with its shell-scalloped, filigreed and rose-red polychromed frame, evokes the Roman nature-deity Venus and is conceived in the Roman fashion popularised around 1700 by the engraved Oeuvres of William III's French 'architect', Daniel Marot (d. 1752). Golden flowers of Roman acanthus are displayed in ribbon-fretted compartments in the red verre églomisé glass inlaid in the frame; and they are also raised in bas-relief in the central lozenged compartments clasping the reeded borders.
Similarly shaped head-glasses feature on a pair of related mirrors sold from Norfolk House, London, Christie's London, 7 February, 1938, lot 200. Similar verre eglomisé features on a mirror that is likely to have been at Halnaby Hall, Yorkshire before being acquired in 1949 by the Victoria and Albert Museum (H.F. Schiffer, The Mirror Book, Exton, Pensylvania, 1983, fig. 73). Related mirrors are discussed in A. Bowett, English Furniture 1660-1714, Woodbridge, 2002, pp. 300-305. In 1706 René and Thomas Pelletier supplied a 'glass frame two pieces being 60 inches and the two other pieces 32 inches, engraved with gold upon a blue ground' to the Duke of Montague at Ditton Park, Buckinghamshire, and although it is not certain who made it, it has been suggested that a specialist produced all the similar panels made about 1705-1710 (Cornforth, op. cit, pp. 85-86).