This magnificent mirror is designed in the George IV French antique manner popularised by George Smith, 'Upholsterer' to George, when Prince Regent, and author of A Collection of Designs for Household Furniture, 1808 and The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide, 1826. Its Grecian frame, with palm-scrolled pediment, is wreathed in flowers, whose palmette-enriched tablets featured in Thomas Hope's Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1807, and derived from C. Percier and P. Fontaine's Récueil de décorations intérieures, 1801. It formed part of the richly mirrored architecture of the Great Drawing Room of Ballynegall, the Regency villa designed by the architect Francis Johnston for James Gibbons (d. 1846). Its ornament of palms, alluding to Apollo as poet and leader of the Mount Parnassus Muses, harmonised with the room's ceiling, whose ornament was inspired in part by the much-admired Temple of Apollo at Palmyra. Its manufacture is attributed to the Dublin firm of Mack, Williams & Gibton of Stafford Street, Stafford Street, 'Upholsterers and Cabinet-Makers' to the Royal Board of Works, whose label appears on various items of Ballynegall's furnishings (A. Alexander, 'A Firm of Dublin Cabinet-Makers: Mack, Williams & Gibton', Irish Arts Review Yearbook, vol. II, 1995, fig. 14).
Such mirrors, rising from floor to ceiling in Louis XIV splendour, were introduced in the late 1820s by the architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt (d. 1850) in his decoration of the 'Second Drawing Room' at Apsley House, London for Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (d. 1852) (see J. Hardy, 'The Building and decoration of Apsley House', Apollo, September 1973, p. 17, fig. 4). Like the Apsley mirrors, this mirror was fronted by a plinth-supported table that served in two tiers for the display of sculpture, candelabra and china vases. The table that accompanied this mirror was sold Christie's London, 23 April 1998, lot 119.