|Chinoiserie Mirror of Giltwood|
After Thomas Johnson
Removed from Halnaby Hall in 1952
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Could this mirror be any more magnificent? This giltwood mirror is carved with a design and figures in the Chinoiserie (a general term for Chinese-style decorative and ornamental motifs) style. The mirror frame is built into a complex pinnacle with each of the interstices (the carved crevices) filled with mirror glass, creating an astonishing shimmering effect when struck by candlelight.
Among the characteristic Chinoiserie motifs included on this mirror frame are fanciful buildings, robed figures and birds with long necks—creating an illusion of China as a fairy-tale land.
This mirror once hung between the windows in the Drawing Room at Halnaby Hall (formerly the seat of the Milbanke family) in North Yorkshire. Sadly, this Rococo mansion was demolished in 1952 at which time, the V&A purchased this mirror.