Brief description

Pier glass with two sheets of glass, within a walnut and parcel gilt frame, made in England c.1730.

Object name

pier glass

Object number



On Display

Production date

c.1730 (manufactured)

Production place

England (manufactured)


Georgian (1714-1837)





Physical description

Pier glass in two parts within a shaped ogee section walnut and gilt frame. The frame is made of deal with a surface composed of short sections of walnut. There are shrinkage gaps between the sections of walnut.

The facing has a relatively consistent patination and colour suggesting it is mostly original, however in places the gilding has worn away revealing the yellow bole (a type of soft clay used as a pigment) and white gesso beneath. There is dirt and old and decayed varnish in the crevices suggesting that the finish is unlikely to be original. There are small losses to the bottom right hand corner and there is evidence of repaired damage and patches particularly on the horizontal bottom edge.

The two glass plates are bevelled. The upper plate is bevelled on 2 sides and the top. The bevel is straight and does not conform to the shaping of the frame. The lower edge of the plate has a short, straight bevel. The foxing is consistent and homogenous over the whole surface of the plate. The lower plate is bevelled only on the upper and right hand edge. The upper edge of the plate is tucked behind the lower edge of the top plate. The foxing is fairly general and uniform over the whole surface, with some clear patches. The colour is noticeably greyer and darker than upper plate. The foxing on the lower plate does not show the same scintillation as with the upper plate.

The lower plate has almost certainly been replaced. The glass of the lower plate appears to be thicker than the upper. The sides of the frame are veneered in short sections, cross-grained as far as the shaping. There are losses to the bottom right side and bottom left side. The surface and patina of both sides is very dry and has possibly been un-retouched.


Height: 119cm
Width: 48cm

Website keywords



The placement of the mirror over the fireplace and its horizontal form to
suit this position were fairly new innovations. The light from the candles
would have been reflected by the mirror, maximising the effect of their light.
Gilded frame with original glass, 1720s–1740s, (candle branches modern replacements)
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