Possibly made by James Reynolds, American, c. 1739 - 1794
This looking glass is one of a small group of ornately carved, rococo-inspired examples produced by Reynolds' workshop. While the majority of these looking glasses are thought to have originally been fully or partially gilded, this example survives with its original stone-colored surface undisturbed under layers of later partial gilding. By carefully taking minute samples of the decoration and examining them in cross-section under a microscope, furniture conservators have documented the layers of surface restoration and determined that the gilded and dark-bronze colored areas are modern additions. These later finishes will be carefully removed to uncover the original modeled gray and off-white painted surface. Evidence from the original surface of this looking glass frame can now be used as a more accurate basis for the restoration of other works by Reynolds that have incurred more radical, sometimes inappropriate, repairs and treatments.
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