Semicircular Mirror

Semicircular Mirror. Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc.

Artist/Maker: Unknown[1]

Created: c. 1785

Origin/Purchase: Paris

Materials: gilt, gesso, wood, mirrored glass, brass

Dimensions: 61 x 111.8 (24 x 44 in.)

Location: Bedchamber

Provenance: Thomas Jefferson; by descent to Thomas Jefferson Randolph; by descent to Carolina Ramsay Randolph Joslin; by gift the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in 1950

Accession Number: 1950-1

Historical Notes: Designed to be placed over a mantelpiece, this semicircular mirror also functions as a girandole, as it features two brass candleholders on either side. The amount of light was doubled by placing candles next to a reflective surface. This mirror, with it's plain gilded border, may have been the one identified as "une glace á demi-ovale" on the list of Jefferson's goods to be transported to Richmond and eventually to Monticello in 1793.[2] It was among nine mirrors taxed in 1815.[3]

Footnotes

  1. This article is based on Stein, Worlds, 310.
  2. Adrien Petit's List of Packages sent to Richmond, May 12 1789, in PTJ, 26:20.
  3. 1815 Tax List.

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