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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1720-1740 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pine, carved and gilt, with mirror-glass

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by J.A Tulk

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Tall and narrow architectural gilt mirrors like this one were used as 'pier-glasses' - hung on the pier between two windows - where they served to reflect light into the room. The classically-inspired broken pediment reveals the influence of the architect William Kent, whose bold formal interior schemes for his patrons also included lavish use of carved and gilded ornament, including the acanthus leaf and fleur de lys found on this mirror frame. Kent's taste was informed by extensive travels in Italy and his knowledge of the works of the 16th-century Italian architect Andrea Palladio. Here the scrolling acanthus carvings contrast with the plain granular surface of the border to the mirror-glass. The designer and maker of this example are not known.

Physical description

Large rectangular wall-mirror, oil-gilt, with a broken pediment and the sides swelling outwards into scrolls at the bottom. The upper corners have squared projections. Below the pediment is a frieze carved with scrolling foliage and flowers; similar carving is on the pendant below the bottom rail, which is centred with a fleur de lys. The mirror-plate is bordered with a ball and reel moulding.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1720-1740 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Pine, carved and gilt, with mirror-glass


Height: 147 cm, Width: 84 cm, Depth: 6 cm

Object history note

On long loan from V&A to Aston Hall, Birmingham (1980-2001). Previously part of the collection of John Augustus Tulk (d.1956), of Ruxbuy, Chertsey, Surrey, who left a large collection of porcelain, furniture and silver, inherited from his grandfather, also John Augustus Tulk (1814-1873) to the Museum.

On long-term loan to Valentines Mansion, Ilford, Redbridge 2009-2014 [RF 2008/536].

Descriptive line

Mirror, larged carved and gilt with broken pediment, English, 1720-40


Glass; Pine


Carving; Gilding; Gilding

Subjects depicted



Furniture; Mirrors


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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