These remarkable mirrors, the only surviving pieces in their original silver finish in Chippendale's oeuvre, were supplied for the Yellow Damask Sitting Room and invoiced on 1st December 1775 as follows:
2 Exceeding neat & Rich Carved Gerandoles
with ornaments and Treble Branches highly
finished in burnished Silver and varnished and
wrought Pans and Nossels silvered &c
The Yellow Damask Sitting Room, altered by Barry and now known as the Rose Drawing Room, was originally furnished with yellow and white japanned seat furniture, silver mirrors and a lavish pier table with ivory inlaid marquetry top (sold in these Rooms, 1 July 1965, lot 56). One mirror survived in one of the private rooms at Harewood, though lacking its cresting (Gilbert, op. cit., fig. 322). The peripheral ornaments of the second were in the Carpenter's Store and the plate, in overgilded and painted frame (but with original finish underneath) was identified in a bedroom.
Designed in the George III French 'antique' manner, each 'medallion' frame, with ribbon-twist guilloche, is ribbon-tied to a floral wreath and festoons and to 'triumphal' laurel-branches and candle-branches (missing) which spring from a laurel-enriched tablet garlanded with flowers. Their elegant design, described in Messrs. Chippendale and Haig's account of 1775 as being 'Exceeding neat' may represent the hand of Thomas Chippendale Junior (d. 1822) who was described by one of his contemporaries as having 'a very great deal of taste, with great ability as a draughtsman and designer' (G. Beard, English Furniture Makers, 1986, p. 168), and was the author of Sketches of Ornament, 1779, which displayed a similar hand (Gilbert, op. cit., fig. 28). They were commissioned as part of the silver pier-furnishings, together with a remarkable ivory-inlaid marquetry topped table incorporating Apollo's medallion and poetic trophies (Gilbert, op. cit., fig. 488), by Edwin Lascelles for his Yellow Damask Sitting Room which had been designed by the architect Robert Adam (d. 1792). The room's overdoors, inspired by the King's bedroom doors at Versailles Palace, were carved with tablet-supported medallions of festive boys and with nymphs bearing garlands.
A PAIR OF GEORGE III SILVERED MIRRORS by Thomas Chippendale, each with oval plate in a narrow frame carved with entrelacs and beading, the cresting formed as a ribbon-tied wreath of flowers cascading either side, resting on horizontal base mounted with a knotted ribbon bow and pendant flower-swags, one swag at base and one wreath cresting replaced, lacking candle-branches
C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, fig. 322, pp. 198 and 209.
Supplied to Edwin Lascelles, later Lord Harewood (d. 1795), for the Yellow Damask Sitting Room at Harewood House, Yorkshire
Thence by descent to George, 7th Earl of Harewood, sold in these Rooms, 10 April 1986, lot 84