9614 A large George II carved and painted oval wall mirror, the cresting in the form of an overflowing basket of fruit and flowers supported by ribbon tied foliage, the entwined cornucopia with festoons of trailing flowers around the plain, moulded frame, and supported by a winged putti mask with scrolled acanthus. Original paint, later plate.
Collection of Vivien Leigh, Notley Abbey and by family descent.
Height: 63 ins (160 cm)
Width: 38.25 ins (97 cm)
This finely carved early Georgian mirror was sourced from the close friend and pre-eminent decorator John Fowler for the Olivier’s country house in Buckinghamshire, Notley Abbey.
Fowler’s absorbing interest in early 18th century English interiors led to his championing of the Country House style and reached fruition in the publication of his landmark work with John Cornforth, English Decoration in the Eighteenth Century.
The extremely unusual design of this mirror relates to the bold, Baroque carving of fruits and flowers exemplified by Grinling Gibbons at the end of the 17th century, tied in with the stiff leaves and cornucopia associated with the Palladian revival of William Kent in the 1730’s. This period was of particular interest to Fowler and would explain the high price of £68 which he charged his friends in 1947 for the purchase of this mirror.