C. Gilbert Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700 1840, Leeds 1996 p204, Fig. 344,
A Regency carved and gilded wood convex mirror of particularly large size, the upper part with rock work surmounted by a well carved eagle with outstretched wings holding a snake. The original mirror plate surrounded by ebonised stars and balls and a guilloche flanked by double candle branches: the lower part carved stylised foliage.
This example is distinguished by its exceptionally large size and boldly carved eagle cresting. Eagles were common decorative elements on Regency mirrors a highly appropriate iconography for the themes of power, victory and maritime prowess so prevalent during the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century. The mirror retains its original gilding, this is particularly rare for a convex mirror of this period, and this soft and warm gilding is a wonderful contrast to the size and depictions.
The motif of the eagle and serpent bears resemblance to Aesop’s ( An educated ancient Greek slave) famous fable which was popular at the time concluding in ‘ An act of kindness is will repaid’. The cabinet maker Thomas Johnson was heavily inspired by Aesop’s stories and used them throughout his work.