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Rare 18th Century Giltwood Rococo Mirror in the Manner of John and William Linnell #3000

A Fine and Rare Early English Giltwood Rococo Mirror with Carved with Fronds and Green Bullrushes very much in the manner of John and William Linnell. 

English Circa 1760 


Percy Cook, trading as A. Cook Antiques, 12-16 St Christopher's Place off of Wigmore Street in Marylebone, London (dealer label on the backboard of the frame)

At some stage the mirror has passed through the workshops of the famous restorers and gilders W. Thomas Ltd. as their label is stuck to the inside of the backboard. W. Thomas worked extensively with Partridge Fine Arts of Bond Street, one of the most venerable of all antique dealers, but also worked with other fine dealers and private clients. As can be seen their gilt work is of the highest quality and finish.

The mirror is of broadly rectangular outline with a beautiful later mercury plate, of fine colour and with little deteoriation to the mirrored surface. The frame has a rocaille cresting, the sweeping branches which frame it giving it something of a pagoda form. This is mirrored in a stylised anthemion to the base, and the sides are ornamented with very finely carved reeds of particularly naturalistic execution. A very rare feature are the green coloured bull rushes to be found in two places amongst the fronds on each side. 

The use of palm fronds in English interiors of the 18th century perhaps reached its zenith in John Vardy's famous palm room designed for Spencer House in St James, London. Designed in 1757, the room is one of the most astonishing interiors created in this period and was very influential in its effect on the taste of connoisseurs of the time. 

Amongst the surviving Linnell drawings in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum are several mirror designs which incorporate fronds and have a similar feeling to our piece. Oval mirrors in frames of carved fronds are known to have been a speciality of the firm (see Helena Hayward and Patricia Kirkham John and William Linnell: Eighteenth Century Furniture Makers Vol. 2 fig. 196 p.102 for an illustration of this popular design) and it is extremely possible, given the delicacy of its execution and the fine quality of its design, that our piece was also made by this important London workshop based in Berkeley Square.

Width: 26 1/2 inches - 67cm
Height: 44 1/2 inches - 114cm
Depth: 6 1/2 inches - 16cm

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