An Impressive Pair of Carved Giltwood Mirrors, in the Manner of Matthias Lock
Height: 67" Width: 36.5"
Inventory Number 8184
Price Available Upon Request
Each shaped plate set within the profusely carved giltwood frame enriched with stylized acanthus leaves and C-scrolls, surmounted by a foliate clasp; the sides with bearded terms wearing plume headdresses and hung with flowering vines; the shaped apron centered by a scallop shell.
The present pair of mirrors is an example of the earliest furniture in Britain executed in the Rococo taste. Originating in France, the Rococo’s use of asymmetry and ornament inspired by nature was adopted initially by English silversmiths in the 1730s. A desire for furniture incorporating this decoration followed the publication of Matthias Lock’s 1740 New Drawing Book of Ornaments, Shields, Compartments, Masks, etc., the first English drawing book of furniture in the Rococo style.
Matthias Lock was from a family of carvers and joiners who established himself as an exceptional designer and craftsman in the 1740s with the publication of several books of designs. Mirrors by his workshop and after his designs relate to the present pair in the employment of intricate and tight decoration as well as heavy and bold carving. Its form also shares similarities with extant examples in the use of terms, the two inward curving C-scrolls shaping the top of the mirror plate, and the peaked form of the cresting. The elaborate and dense use of the acanthus leaf is also a Lock signature, which he explored thoroughly in his 1769 A New Book of Foliage for the Instruction of Young Artists.
Lock included aristocratic patrons among his clientele, including the 2nd Earl Poulett and the 1st Duke of Northumberland, but his records, currently conserved in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, indicate that he did carve pieces for other leading London workshops, most notably Thomas Chippendale.