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Venetian Murano Glass Engraved Sectional Mirror c.1780


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Regular price Sale price £9,500.00
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The most incredible mirror we have ever found. A rare and wonderful example of Venetian Rococo design, style and ethos in its entirety. A gilt-wood bound, Murano glass sectional mirror with its allegorical engraved glass panel which is absolutely perfect. In 18th Century Venice, mirrors were the ultimate status symbol. The mirror would have been surrounded by a panelled decorative wall embellished with Fresco Stucco (see examples from 18th Century dwellings Palazzo Loredan and Ca’ Contarini, Venice) in a rococo Palazzo or Casino owned by a Noble family of the time.
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 would show their skill by adding in tiny bubble details before they engraved their image, most notably and incredibly the Maestri of our mirror has added a tiny mercury filled heart shaped bubble in the chest of the Goddess. The mirrors scene depicts Cybele, the Goddess of wild nature (symbolised by her constant companion the lion, here depicted as the Venetian Lions), a healer, the Goddess of Fertility and protectress in time of War.

  • Width: 90 cm (35.43″)
  • Height: 167 cm (65.75″)
  • Depth: 6 cm (2.36″)