We recently acquired this very fine George II gilt gesso mirror in the manner of John Belchier. The original rounded rectangular bevelled plate sits within a foliate-carved moulded frame. The cresting is centred by feathers and flanked by eagles’ heads on a pounced ground, and the apron centred by a cherub mask and wings.
John Belchier was a Huguenot immigrant who worked in London as a cabinetmaker between 1687 and 1753. In 1712, he established a workshop at Nottingham Court, Short’s Gardens in the parish of St. Giles in the Fields, London. In 1717, he moved his business to ‘The Sun’ in St. Paul’s Churchyard.
Belchier is one of the few cabinetmakers of the time who affixed trade labels to some of his work, which has led to solid attributions of pieces by Belchier at locations including Erddig, Wales, and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
At Erddig, Belchier supplied an exceptional carved giltwood lit a la duchesse featuring similar carved eagle heads as the ones that appear on the present mirror. Belchier is also known to have supplied japanned and walnut bureau cabinets.