Description & Technical information

A George II giltwood mirror by John Vardy.
Note: The mirror retains the original bevelled centre mirror plate and most of the marginal plates, as well as some of the original gilding. The leaf tips of the cresting have been reinstated.
Joseph Damer, 1st Earl of Dorchester, bought the ancient former Benedictine foundation of Milton Abbey, Dorset, in the 1750s and then set about remodelling the entire valley by relocating the village and church and razing the original village and parts of the existing abbey complex to the ground.
Damer engaged a series of architects, starting with John Vardy. Vardy was followed by Sir William Chambers, and the buildings were completed by James Wyatt. The Royal Institute of British Architects holds a collection of drawings by John Vardy for Milton Abbey, including the designs for this mirror. The drawing shows two alternative versions, both of them suitable for either a mirror or a picture frame. Our mirror derives from a combination of both drawings. It is not known if any picture frames were made to the design.
The Damer family sold Milton Abbey in the 1850s to Carl Joachim Hambro, whose descendants in turn sold it in the 1930s. Today Milton Abbey is an independent day and boarding school with over 220 students.

Date:  circa 1750
Period:  George II
Origin:  English
Medium: Giltwood
Dimensions: 201 x 117 cm (79¹/₈ x 46¹/₈ inches)
Provenance: Commissioned by Joseph Damer, 1st Earl of Dorchester, Milton Abbey, Dorset, England.
Categories: Furniture