We are delighted to share a wonderful piece from our collection: this very rare George I green japanned dressing mirror is extremely finely decorated throughout with wonderful gilt chinoiseries on a dark green ground.
Despite its diminutive size, the mirror features grand proportions, with the adjustable arched bevelled mirror plate supported by turned finial mounted pilasters. The mirror sits above a bombé base section with a fall front opening to reveal a suede writing-surface and a variety of drawers and pigeon-holes, above a curved deep drawer fitted with open compartments. The whole piece stands on small stylised cushion feet.
The dressing table mirror has been an important piece in the home since the late 17th century. Given the expense and rarity of mirror glass, these dressing mirrors were highly prized and often decorated lavishly to signify their value. The japanned decoration of this particular mirror reflects the height of fashion in the early Georgian era, when chinoiserie designs were coveted for their exotic nature.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art held an exhibition entitled Metropolitan Vanities: The History of the Dressing Table in 2013-14, which looked at a group of over fifty pieces spanning from antiquity to the present day that all related to this special form.