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Toilet mirror

Toilet mirror

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1700 - 1710 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Walnut and burr walnut veneers on oak and pine. Brass fittings and ivory escutcheon.

  • Museum number:

    W.22:1, 2-1931

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Small free-standing mirrors, designed to stand on a dressing-table, were known as toilet glasses in the 17th and early 18th centuries. The term toilet at that period referred to a lady's dressing table and its accessories. From the late 18th century onwards such mirrors were described as dressing glasses. A. Hepplewhite & Co. illustrated several 'dressing glasses' in The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide published in 1788, with later editions in 1789 and 1794 . This example, with a tall rectangular bevelled glass and a shaped top, and burr-walnut veneer, dates from about 1700. The drawer underneath the glass is divided into small compartments by shaped partitions.

Physical description

The bevelled mirror plate is enclosed within a moulded framework, shaped with shallow scrolls at the top and has an inner border of carved and gilt leaf moulding. It is supported on slightly tapered uprights which have small brass finials. The lower portion is veneered with figured burr walnut with borders of herring bone inlay. It is fitted with a drawer divided into compartments by shaped partitions. It is supported on bracket feet with a small pendal in the centre.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1700 - 1710 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Walnut and burr walnut veneers on oak and pine. Brass fittings and ivory escutcheon.


Height: 81 cm, Width: 47 cm, Depth: 28.5 cm

Object history note

On long-term loan to Valentines Mansion and Garden, Ilford, Redbridge 2009-2014 [RF 2008/536]. Previously this object had been loaned to Kew Palace from 1974 until 2007.

Descriptive line

Dressing mirror veneered in burr walnut with rectangular mirror and a drawer below


Walnut; Oak; Pine; Brass (alloy); Ivory; Mirror glass


Veneering; Joining




Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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