An exceptional and rare Murano Venetian engraved glass mirror housing a striking depiction of Apollo the Sun God c.1790
The decadent water-gilded foliate scrolled frame is surmounted by a 3D rose, and the base of the mirror bears the face of a satyr. The original mercury glass has aged mysteriously and magically - so foxed only reflections are seen within the central figure of Apollo.
Mirrors of this quality and kind were only produced for a small period of time, as on 12th May 1797, the Republic of Venice fell to Napoleon Bonaparte who abolished all of Venice’s Guilds including the Glass makers.
The mirror masters (Murano Maestri da Quari) (a secretive Guild who were banned from leaving Murano to protect their techniques and skills and ensure a Venetian monopoly on glass production) only able to produce small panels at this time as the glass had to be physically held by them while they engraved using man powered lathes. Another part of the process involved the pouring of liquid mercury between two hand-blown glass panes which were pressed by hand to spread the mercury perfectly over the surface to create a flawless mirror. The true Maestri were capable of adding hand blown bubble details such as the tips of Apollo’s spears within the liquid glass.