- 1088. AN IMPORTANT
AMERICAN TABERNACLE LOOKING GLASS
Probably Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1800-1815
- DESCRIPTION: This elegant
gilded wood and gesso tabernacle looking glass is a rare, important
size. The exceptionally bold and complex cornice retains each
original spherule. Double pillars enclosing a spiral flank the
glass. The original untouched eglomise is skillfully executed
in gilt on a white background. It depicts a highly detailed pastoral
landscape with a water mill, various types of trees, and two
people. Animals rest in a shelter. A fine house is visible in
the background. The enchanting scene is surrounded by placid
- This looking glass represents
an important time in American history when for the first time
our young nation was capable of producing a fine mirror instead
of having to import large plates of glass. This piece required
the skills of multiple artisans: a cabinetmaker, gilder, artist,
and glazier. Thus, it actually represents many antiques in one
single piece. A fine looking glass would have most likely been
commissioned for a household of wealth and stature. The Boston
elite often presented a bridal couple with a mirror like this.
- MATERIALS: Gilded wood and
gesso. Wood appears to be white pine. Eglomise or reverse painted
scene on glass plate surmounting mirror. Single large mirrored
- DIMENSIONS: Extreme Height:
50 1/2" Extreme Width: 35"
- CONDITION: Exceptionally
fine condition with original untouched eglomise with virtually
no loss, excellent gilt surface with desirable patina, original
mirrored glass resilvered, and original backboard.
- REFERENCES: Sack, Volume
III, page 777, P3405, page 847, P2128; Sack, Volume V,
page 1239, P4116.
- REPAIRS: Very minor gilt
conservation. Glass resilvered in 1941.