The pier-glass is parquetry-veneered in shell-figured walnut, while its centres and corners are marquetry-inlaid in the Louis Quatorze manner with arch-headed tablets of richly-flowered ebony. Flower stems provide perches for birds in the side tablets, while colourful bouquets issue from trefoiled lilies clasped at the corners. Similar lilies or fleur-de-lys feature on an ebony-veneered mirror that is likely to have been commissioned by John Maitland, 1st Duke of Lauderdale (d. 1682) around the time of his marriage to Elizabeth, Duchess of Lauderdale in 1672 and may be the 'Looking glasse frame of Ebony flower'd' listed in the 1679 inventory (P. Thornton & M. Tomlin, 'The Furnishing and Decoration of Ham House', Furniture History, 1980, p. 105, fig. 140). Such furniture was also referred to in the 17th Century as being of 'Markatree' carved with flowers and finely coloured'.
Amongst the leading exponents of this French style of marquetry outside Paris was the Amsterdam ébéniste, Jan van Mekeren (d. 1733), and the marquetry of this mirror may have been executed by Dutch craftsmen working in London.
A similar mirror, with lily-flowered corners was sold anonymously, Sotheby's London, 29 September 1995, lot 1. Another mirror, retaining a triumphal-arched cresting, was advertised by the Savile Row dealer, Basil Dighton in Connoisseur, August 1914, and another was sold by the late W.H. Simpson Esq., in these Rooms, 22 May 1969, lot 144.
Another similar pier-glass, also featuring birds, was sold anonymously, in these Rooms, 29 April 1965, lot 51.