Mirror

1750-1760 (made)
Mirror thumbnail 1
Mirror thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 54
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
The mirror combines both Palladian and Rococo features. The former include the swan-necked pediment, the composite capitals (in which Ionic volutes are combined with the features of a Corinthian capital), the Vitruvian scroll frieze (with repeated volutes) at the base and a Venus mask set in a shell at the apron. These architectural features are inspired by the work of the British architect James Gibbs (1682-1754). The lively Rococo detail includes the asymmetrical, eagle-mounted lion cartouche at the top and the shell-like foliage brackets beneath the columns.

People
Francis and John Booker succeeded to the family business when their father John died in 1749. The elder John Booker was working as a 'Looking Glass merchant' when he married early in 1711 or 1712. In 1728 he was described as a 'glass-grinder'. The brothers are listed in the Dublin trade directories from 1761 until 1772.

Ownership & Use
The fleurs-de-lis in the foliage in the upper frieze (in the upper corners) may provide a clue to the original owners of the mirror. This heraldic flower features in the crest of Edward Clifford of Castle Annesley, Co. Wexford.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved and gilded wood
Brief Description
Mirror, carved and gilded wood, palladian, Irish, 1725-1730
Physical Description
Mirror in a frame of carved and gilded wood. At the top is a 'broken' pediment with escutcheon composed of a piereced double shell, an eagle displayed and a lion's head and paws. The pediment finishes in whorls composed of rosettes and acanthus: it has pendants of fruit on the edges. The frieze is carved with a basket containing flowers and fruit, which are prolonged throughout its length. It is supported on two fluted columns with Corinthian capitals and at the edges are pendants of fruit and flowers. The mirror plate is framed in mouldings mitred at the angles and carved with egg and tongue and gadroons. The columns rest on a wide moulding, carved with a wave pattern. Below are two acanthus consoles and a large pendant having a female mask back by a shell in the centre.
Dimensions
  • Height: 236cm
  • Width: 125cm
Gallery Label
British Galleries: The influence of Palladianism spread rapidly to countries under British rule. In Ireland the style was keenly developed over a long period. This mirror was almost certainly made in the workshops of Francis and John Booker in Dublin, whose label is found on several similar mirrors. They specialised as mirror merchants, importing glass from Normandy, France.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by the British Antique Dealers' Association, through The Art Fund
Object history
Almost certainly made in the workshops of Francis (died in Dublin, 1773) and John (died in Dublin, 1789) Booker, Essex Bridge, Dublin
Summary
Object Type
The mirror combines both Palladian and Rococo features. The former include the swan-necked pediment, the composite capitals (in which Ionic volutes are combined with the features of a Corinthian capital), the Vitruvian scroll frieze (with repeated volutes) at the base and a Venus mask set in a shell at the apron. These architectural features are inspired by the work of the British architect James Gibbs (1682-1754). The lively Rococo detail includes the asymmetrical, eagle-mounted lion cartouche at the top and the shell-like foliage brackets beneath the columns.

People
Francis and John Booker succeeded to the family business when their father John died in 1749. The elder John Booker was working as a 'Looking Glass merchant' when he married early in 1711 or 1712. In 1728 he was described as a 'glass-grinder'. The brothers are listed in the Dublin trade directories from 1761 until 1772.

Ownership & Use
The fleurs-de-lis in the foliage in the upper frieze (in the upper corners) may provide a clue to the original owners of the mirror. This heraldic flower features in the crest of Edward Clifford of Castle Annesley, Co. Wexford.
Other Number
1928/5316 - RF number
Collection
Accession Number
W.47-1928

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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