mahogany veneered and gilded; pine, spruce; silvered glass
United States,Pennsylvania,Philadelphia,,England,London,
Overall: 43 × 16 in. (109.22 × 40.64 cm)

Large looking glasses were decorative and expensive luxury items found in only the wealthiest colonial homes. Also called pier glasses, they often hung between two windows – the architectural pier – in the best room of the house. Most were made in England and imported to America for sale through local vendors. Smooth and clear reflective glass suited to silvering, a specialty of English manufacturers, was difficult to produce, and period techniques limited the product’s dimensions. As seen here, larger versions required two pieces of glass.

This looking glass bears the label of Philadelphia merchant John Elliott Sr. Although Elliott probably did not make the mirrored surface, eh may have prepared its frame. Or, he may simply have imported the complete work and attached his label upon its arrival from England.

Queen Anne
Signed on label on back of mirror: "J. Elliot."
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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