Antique English Regency Period Gold Leaf Convex Mirror England circa 1830 (18 3/4"dia.)
An antique English Regency period gold leaf convex mirror from England circa 1830 enclosing the original convex mirror glass. This elegant mirror with its round profile is an example of mirrors that became especially popular during the Regency period in England (1810-1830). The wonderful appeal in a convex mirror lies in its surprising ability to reflect a larger area of an interior than a flat mirror glass. This aspect proved exceedingly desirable amongst the upper classes who had the means and the leisure time to entertain at home because it enabled a hostess to survey the room with just a quick glance. At a dinner party it was easily apparent when everybody was finished with their course and a discreet signal could be given to the staff to clear the table and proceed with the next offering. Usually these mirrors were mounted directly opposite the hostess and situated so the entire length of the table could be seen. The brilliant gold leaf possesses a gorgeous sheen and the entire frame is sheathed in this luxurious material. The frame itself is quite deep along its outer edge and has a deep indentation along the entire side that divides the back from the front of the side perimetre. The outer edge of the frame viewed from the front has a raised band in the form of a half tube banded on both sides with a flat narrow section that sweeps inward toward the glass in a dramatic concave shape. Within this concave area the surface is totally smooth and serves to provide a maximum amount of reflected light to illuminate the spheres suspended within the space. There are fourteen evenly spaced spheres that are also covered in gold leaf and the curious shadows their reflection cast upon the frame are quite intriguing. The sculptural effect of these spheres is rather unusual and gives this mirror a desirable presence in an interior. The inner part of the frame that encircles the convex glass is known as the "slip" and is finished in a glossy black lacquer chosen to resemble ebony wood. This ebonized section is also grooved around its entire surface that has once again been chosen to give a ripple in its visual reflection as opposed to a merely flat surface. When looking at the original convex glass please note that we have left the photographer's equipment visible to show the curved reflection. The narrow streaks of light seen are the overhead fluorescent bulbs. This mirror is an excellent example of the brilliant furnishings desired during the Regency period as homes became better and better lighted. This increased level of illumination allowed better quality items to be seen and appreciated and therefore chosen with more regularity. These mirrors still make quite a design statement after almost two hundred years and continue to be used in both contemporary and traditional interiors.
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18.50" w x 18.50" d x 2.00" h
46.99cm w x 46.99cm d x 5.08cm h