On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
Mahogany, walnut veneer, spruce, gilt
56.5 x 29.5 x 3.25 in. (143.5 x 74.9 x 8.3 cm) (show scale)
Matthew Scott Sloan Collection, Gift of Lidie Lane Sloan McBurney
Chippendale style looking glass. Overall irregular rectangular shape with gilt and scrolled edges. Crest: pediment-shaped crest with edge outlined by carved and gilded foliage and flames; finial is gilded urn with blossoms and foliage. Sides: gilded egg-and-dart molding on edge outlined with gilded pendant foliage. Base: gilded foliate c-scrolls at outer edge of base; sprays of folliage curve up at jointures of c-scrolls; some slightly asymmetrical flame-like carving below c-scrolls. Beveled sight edge is shaped by series of gilded s-scrolls; all four corners of sight edge carved with flame-like decoration. Plain unleveled glass. Gilding: some ornament is water gilded with gesso ground and layers of bole in various colors (red, blue, pink, yellow, or white); some ornament might be oil gilded. Some cracks in veneer and applied ornament; some missing and retouched gilding; flower missing from pendant foliage on left; lower portion of pendant foliage missing on both sides; glass not original.
CONDITION: Ornament and molding separated from substrate; cracks in applied ornament; cracks in veneer. Flower missing from pendant foliage on left; lower portion of pendant foliage missing on both sides. Some missing gilding; missing gilding retouched in places. Glass not original.
Looking Glass, ca.1740-1780. Mahogany, walnut veneer, spruce, gilt, 56.5 x 29.5 x 3.25 in. (143.5 x 74.9 x 8.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Matthew Scott Sloan Collection, Gift of Lidie Lane Sloan McBurney, 1997.150.23. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1997.150.23_transp696.jpg)
overall, 1997.150.23_transp696.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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When was the first mirror invented and what was it made out of?
This comes from the National Center for Biotechnology Information from the US National Library: "The earliest known manufactured mirrors (approximately 8000 years old) have been found in Anatolia (south central modern-day Turkey). These were made from obsidian (volcanic glass), had a convex surface and remarkably good optical quality. Mirrors from more recent periods have been found both in Egypt and Mesopotamia and still later in China and in the New World. In each of these areas, mirrors were in use by approximately 2000 BC or 4000 years ago."
Why are these frames and mirrors in your collection?
The mirrors (excluding the black mirror) are part of our Decorative Arts collection. They're in our collection because they are part of material culture, and can help us understand the way in which people lived in the past, styles and approaches to making throughout time. Many are emblematic of specific times and specific concerns. You might notice higher on the wall there is a convex mirror, it was made that way to reflect and maximize how much light a candle could give off.
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