Swedish Empire Period gold leaf mirror, c.1820
An unusual Swedish Empire period mirror c. 1820 featuring the ancient symbol for medicine - the caduceus - that has a staff crowned with the winged helmet of Hermes and entwined with a pair of facing serpents. The neoclassical design of this mirror is seen in the classical pediment top and the base with an anthemion medallion on the left and the right that flank a horizontal lozenge flanked by foliate designs. The original mirror plate has a charming ripple to the reflection indicative of its northern production. It is surrounded by a double border of raised moulding - the outer border a classic egg and dart whose origins symbolized fertility and an inner border adjacent to the glass with a pattern of undulating loops. Above the mirror is a half moon area that encloses the caduceus. Adding to its visual importance is the addition of flanking cornucopia spilling over with the bounty of nature. These images were instantly recognizable to the people who lived with this mirror as the study of the classics and its powerful imagery was considered a basic part of one's education. The other classical allusion is the use of a pair of ancient heads of Greek and Roman origin that appear to support the pediment. Their outward gaze that promises eternal vigilance is an important component of the message delivered by this mirror design. Health, abundance and vision are woven together in a balanced manner first seen during the reign of Gustav III in late eighteenth century Sweden. The beautiful gold leaf that adorns this mirror ensures its beauty will continue to delight.
WIDTH: 15 in | HEIGHT: 36 in | DEPTH: 3 in
Shipping Estimate: $250 | White glove
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