This is a rather spectacular Regency Style Convex or Bulls Eye Mirror which I rescued from the large dining room in the big house at Cousin Emma's place ( please see below).
The mirror is 30 inches tall and 18 inches wide. It is made of Gilded Wood and Gesso. The top of the banded circle surrounding the mirror, the Eagle and his olive leaves and the bottom foliage scroll work are all gilded with a bright gold. The interior concave circle with the thirteen balls representing the original thirteen colonies is of darker gold and the band against the mirror is painted black. This subtle combination of different golds and black is very handsome.
My maternal grandmother, Blanche, who was born in 1879, grew up on the property and who was the source for most of the information I have of Cousin Emma and the old property, told me that this mirror had always hung in the large dining room for as long as she could remember. She also told me that she remembered that when her father, Hezekiah Cawood, died in 1924, this mirror was draped and covered with black crape.
I don't have an exact idea of the mirror's age, but I would have to suppose that it dates to sometime from the late 1800's to the early 1900's.
The mirror is in very good condition with no significant damage. Some of the gilding has age appropriate wear and the Eagle's wings appear to have been repaired at some time. The glass of the mirror has no scratches at all and reflects beautifully. It has just a very few and small age related streaks which add authentic character to the mirror.
The photos give a very good idea of the elegance and beauty of this fine old mirror.
If you should have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
And thanks for looking.
This is one of many items which I will be listing from Cousin Emmas's place, some are rather elegant leftovers from times long gone by and some, a bit more rustic. Following is the story of how I came by these things.
When I was five years old, my family make a trip down to Southern Maryland to visit Cousin Emma at the homestead of my mother's family in Chaptico. One of her ancestors was a Cawood who arrived in Southern Maryland on the Ark and the Dove in 1634. He was the scion of a family of recusant catholics in whose house Cardinal Wolsey died, fleeing Henry VIII's wrath for not procuring his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. This upset Henry to no end; he attainted the family, confiscated their property and .....but that is another long story. Suffice it to say that 100 years later, life was so difficult for this gentleman that he felt compelled to abandon England for the fresh green breast of the new world.
Back to my story: we arrived at the house in Chaptico to find it in a very sad state. It looked a little like Tara from "Gone With the Wind", only much smaller and made of plastered-over brick. In the 1950's, there was more brick than plaster left. And what was once an allée of lime trees was not much more than a double row of stumps and a few very sickly, barely living limes.
Cousin Emma, (it was never quite clear to me exactly whose cousin she was) had closed up the main part of the house and was living in the huge attached kitchen with Lucy, the last of the house servants. There was a large featherbed in the corner with two indentations. These two women had grown up together, never married and were the best of friends, shared everything and were partners in life, but not in the sense that we use that expression today.
Cousin Emma and Lucy
It seemed to me at the time and still does that, somehow, history had just swept by that part of Southern Maryland. These two were living almost as people lived a hundred years earlier. They had no phone; their water came through a pump that was attached to one of their huge sinks and they had no electricity.
A few years after our visit, cousin Emma died and Lucy came to live with my grandmother in Washington DC. She died a week later. In 1969, we got word that the house was going to be demolished and if we wanted anything from it, we better get there in a hurry. I borrowed a friend's VW Van, made it down before the bulldozers got to work, and loaded that van with an incredible amount of really good stuff, much of which I will be listing over the next weeks.
Due to the limitations of photography and the inevitable differences in monitor settings, the color of the pictures on your monitor may be slightly different from Mirror itself, but I did my best to capture it as it is. And, at least on my monitor, the color is a perfect match.