11548 A GILTWOOD OCTAGONAL MIRROR WITH UNUSUAL FLORAL PAINTED STIFFENED CANVAS CANOPY CREST Probably South American. Second Half Of The Eighteenth Century. Measurements: Height: 47 1/2″ (120.6 cm) Width: 41″ (104 cm) Depth: 6 1/4″(15.8 cm).
Of giltwood and stiffened canvas with painted decoration. The stiffened canvas canopy crest painted with flower head decoration is surmounted by a giltwood dome shaped finial. The crest sits atop a shallow ogee molded giltwood frame enclosing an old but probably replaced mirror plate. Probably originally to surround a devotional painting.
Old diplomatic US collection formed of items acquired in Mexico and South America
This distinctive octagonal mirror was very likely acquired in South America in the 1920s or 1930s by a U.S. diplomat. The unusual nature of the piece tends toward the opinion that it was made in the Spanish viceregal territories. Aside from its horizontal octagonal shape, it is most unusual for having a cresting in the form of paired drapes. On first sight it appears that the crest is sculpted of wood but, surprisingly, it is formed of real fabric that has been stiffened to be completely rigid. The crest is surmounted by a pinnacle likely inspired by a cardinal’s miter. Given this feature, it is possible the frame originally contained a devotional image.