Louis XVI Style Gold Leaf "Pareclose" Mirror, France c.1875
A magnificent Louis XVI style gold leaf frame enclosing the original pieces of mirror glass from France c.1875. This is very special type of mirror known as a "pareclose" because of the placement of the central mirror plate surrounded on four sides by long rectangular mirrors all set at an angle. The effect of this arrangement is to push the centre of the mirror forward and creates an exceptionally sculptural three dimensional impression. The exterior profile of the frame is rectangular with a symmetrical carved detail over the entire surface. This pattern sets the tone of lavishness seen everywhere on the mirror. Surmounting the mirror is a lovely cartouche centred on an oval medallion with a flourish above and flanking scrolls below. Please look closely at either side of the medallion because the open work carving features a pair of delightful cornucopias that spill forth a profusion of open flower blossoms and leaves. This reference to the bounty of the natural world has always been a facet of French decorative design. Each corner of the rectangular frame is set with a large scrolled flourish that moves into the space around the frame and allows light to pass around and behind the scroll. This detail balances the cartouche at the top and furthers the sculptural effect. In each inside corner of the frame is an elaborate piece of moulded detail that connects the outer frame to the inner frame. These pieces match the luxurious quality seen on the frame and the gold leafed finish. These pieces serve both a decorative and practical purpose as they serve to conceal the area where the outside mirror pieces meet. These four pieces of long rectangular mirror glass are set at an angle to the large mirror glass plate and reflect part of the frame as well as the surrounding interior. This creates an unusual variety of reflection as one passes in front of the mirror due to these different angles that is quite striking. The largest mirror glass has a beveled edge and is set within the simplest frame of moulding that has a central row of beads known to the French as "les perles" because of the resemblance to a strand of perfectly matched pearls. Before the development of cultured pearls the acquisition of matched pearls was incredibly challenging and tremendously expensive. Only the top of the aristocracy could afford this expense and this was common knowledge so the reference to pearls was immediately understood. The combination of these carved details and balanced arrangement along with the depth of richness from the gold leaf make an absolute feast for the eye and is similar to the effect from a piece of splendid jewelry.
WIDTH: 42 in | HEIGHT: 57 in | DEPTH: 7 in
Shipping Estimate: $400 | White glove
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