An Irish George III carved giltwood Mirror in the manner of Francis and John Booker

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Lot 84
An Irish George III carved giltwood Mirror
in the manner of Francis and John Booker

Sold for £ 19,200 (US$ 23,873) inc. premium
An Irish George III carved giltwood Mirror
in the manner of Francis and John Booker
the rectangular plate within an egg and dart moulded frame flanked by a rocaille carved moulded outer-frame with intertwined foliate boughs and floral chains, surmounted by a similar pierced swan-neck outer-frame resting on a foliate shell with a pierced foliate cabochon cresting, the pierced apron centred by a carved shell and flanked by foliate scrolls supported by a similar moulded outer-frame, 170.5cm high, 92.5cm wide, (67" high, 36" wide)

Footnotes

  • The Dublin based Booker family are best known for their very strictly Palladian mirrors which they produced from the 1750s and were inspired by the designs of William Jones published in his The Gentlemen's of Builders Companion containing a variety of useful designs for doors, gateways, peers, pavilions, temples, chimney-pieces, slab tables, pier glasses or tabernacle frames, ceiling pieces etc, (1739). Rococo influences were often apparent in the pier mirrors for which the Bookers are best known. An example is illustrated in The Knight of Klin and J.Peill, Irish Furniture, Yale, 2007, p.144, pl.194 and shows this to good effect, bearing the label of John Booker trading alone, and so must post-date the death of his brother in 1772. A design attributed to the Bookers (illustrated, ibid., p.145, pl.196) shows the use of a pierced rococo outer-frame and floral entwined column before a rectangular beaded slip frame around the plate. The mirror offered here echoes this design in the drawing of the uprights although without the use of columns. The overall profile of the mirror does still follow the more formal Palladian designs with the outerframe almost rising to a broken swan-neck pediment. The Bookers were certainly producing oval rococo inspired girandoles in the 1760's(ibid., p146-7, pl.198-200.)and John Booker advertised in both The Hibernian Journal and is Saunder's News-letter and Daily Advertiser, 18-21 November 1774 that:

    'John Booker, Looking Glass-seller, Carver and Gilder, No 6 Essex-bridge (who for some years past carried on business with his brother, the late Alderman Booker) begs leave to aquaint the nobility, gentry and the public in general, that he now has ready for sale an elegant assortment of looking glasses of the newest fashion; consisting of square and oval frames, carved and finished in the best burnished gold; oval glass girandoles and London lacquered branches....'

    The unusual broad handling of the outer-frame is reminiscent of the carving on the group of three Matthias Lock inspired mirrors dating from 1760-70 thought to have been supplied to Sir Thomas Taylour, first Earl of Bective (1724-95) for Headfort, Lells, Co. Meath built between 1760-1770 to the designs of George Semple (ibid., p.263, pl.232-234). Similarly handled trailing foliage and a shell cartouche are employed on the contemporary frame for William Van der Hagen's 'A Capricio Landscape with Shepherd's beside Ruins' (Private Collection, see Klin and J.Peill, ibid., p.I).
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25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
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