Always the Last Place You Look

So, I couldn’t let it go. I had not conjured that mirror out of thin air. I’m not that good, by far. Back to the library. American Designers’ Houses? No. Vicente Wolf? No. Rooms to Inspire? Nina Campbell’s Decorating Secrets? Sills Huniford’s Dwellings? No, no and no. Grrr…

But here and there there were a few things that were almost. On Courtney’s advice, I did check Mecox Gardens. They had some pretty mirrors, but not quite right. 1st dibs had this.

OK, amazing, I admit. But, well, I don’t need a pair and would never consider splitting them up. Also, “contact dealer” on the price, which would likely mean refinancing my house and I don’t think Mr. Blandings would understand.

This is close. Keith Irvine from House and Garden, Book of Style.

I was really thinking a bit more graphic and, not to be picky, but the “dots” here I think are actually pieces of mirror, which, while it’s lovely, is, well, no.

I do like this one. It’s not quite big enough (I do understand I’m not actually shopping, just in case you were starting to worry.) but this is what I had in mind. Brackets on either side, with maybe some of that Haytown Pottery from one of my first posts.

Sorry, I got a bit distracted, this is Charlotte Moss’s entry from her book, A Passion for Detail.

Is this it? Could this be it? I just didn’t remember it horizontal and I didn’t remember gilding. But I can’t find the darn thing so maybe I’m a nut-job anyway.

But this one at least could be taken to show the dealers or the framer. It’s very close, still, a smidge more gilt than desired. (Do you feel like Barbara Streisand in “What’s Up Doc? peaking from behind the plant?) Jackye Lantham’s dining room from Southern Accents, Color. The walls are upholstered in linen velvet.

“Oh, sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found you!” You should be so glad you can’t hear me sing. Michael Smith. Naturally. This mirror. This image, forever seared into my brain.

Am I a knucklehead? Not one of the books mention the mirror. At all. Not even a passing, “flanking the mirror…” A nobody. Or perhaps it’s such a common thing I should know what it is. (She doesn’t even know what a ahem is. I’m never reading this again. Poser.)

If that is the case, before you click away, please do tell me if it has a name, provenance, anything. I will feel truly silly carrying around Smith’s Elements of Style where ever I go. (She’s the one, you know, who always has that book.)
Always an amazing resource, House of Beauty and Culture stopped by to help me out. These are Georgian and Irish. The “dots” are glass or crystal. The antiques are somewhat rare. And probably dear. I’m so grateful for our merry little band.

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13 thoughts on “Always the Last Place You Look

  1. okay, sorry, I know this question is quite off-topic but many of these mirrors seem to be hung much higher than I thought was “correct.” I am especially sensitive to this issue at the moment as Mr. s. is 6’4″ and is always complaining that my mirrors are hung way too low… Thanks!

  2. Mrs B. – you are looking for a late Georgian/ Regency Irish mirror with a parcel gilt cut glass (or crystal studded) frame. Rare, and average 24 inches high by 15 wide.
    The larger examples you have pictured are most likely Victorian. Not as rare.

  3. Do you think it must be a Federal style? Or something more contemporary that looks very classic? I wonder if a reference book on Federal styles would have the answer.

    By the time I look it up, you’ll have a reply from an anonymous expert, or Jennifer, but you’ve got me curious. Beautiful examples!

  4. That is an amazing mirror -but I have no idea where it’s from 🙁 It looks like ivory though or another bone, don’t you think? Both the white and the black. not mother of pearl…in my opinion.
    But I LOVE that chandelier thats reflected in it -thats probably the most perfect dining room ever photographed!

  5. It is a most lovely room – and I would never have thought I would be attacted to a white dining room. But this is stunning.

  6. S. – I’ve looked back and you are right about the height. Over the mantle, of course, doesn’t leave you much choice. I’m not sure why the Moss mirror is so high, but I will say Smith’s hanging makes sense to me. There would be nothing worse that catching yourself in a mirror all through a dinner party. Horrors. What an unseemly distraction. I’m guessing that is why it’s higher in that room.

  7. HOBC – Just as I should have known this was Michael Smith, I should have known you would have the answer. What a treat to have such a lovely and gracious resource popping in to help me. Heaven knows, I need it. Thank you.

  8. What a beauty! I understand completely why you love it. Michael Smith has an impecable eye, no? I suppose he found it in one of the many antique auctions he frequents. Happy Hunting! 🙂 AND Happy Holidays to you!

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