Description & Technical information

Note: The frame retains virtually all the original surface. The mercury bevelled mirror plate is original.
As with the Irish mahogany side table (item 18; page 62), this mirror stands out from the normal run of Irish mirrors. It has a lightness and fluidity of design that without doubt is influenced by designs published by Thomas Johnson, yet its rococo style is combined with some characteristic Irish features such as the exaggerated waisted sides and the use of architectural details.
Similar carved decoration on mirror and picture frames can be found at Russborough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, where Henry Houghton was employed. It is interesting to note that Thomas Johnson, Matthias Lock’s most celebrated apprentice, spent some eight months in Dublin working for Houghton. Johnson states in his journal that he ‘made great improvements from [Houghton] and his apprentices from me’.
Another mirror with virtually identical features but conceived as an overmantel is photographed at Ely Place in Dublin, Ireland, and published in The Georgian Society Records.

Date:  1755
Period:  George II
Origin:  Irish
Medium: Giltwood
Dimensions: 174 x 113 x 30.5 cm (68¹/₂ x 44¹/₂ x 12 inches)
Literature: Thomas Johnson, A Collection of Designs, 1758, pl. 1.
Desmond Guinness, The Georgian Society Records, vol. II, 1969, pl. XCVI.
Jacob Simon, Thomas Johnson’s ‘The Life of the Author’, 2003, pp. 1-64.
The Knight of Glin and James Peill, Irish Furniture, 2007, pp. 79-87.
Categories: Furniture