You are here
Created: c. 1785
Materials: gilt, gesso, wood, mirrored glass, brass
Dimensions: 61 × 111.8 (24 × 44 in.)
Provenance: Thomas Jefferson; by descent to Thomas Jefferson Randolph; by descent to Carolina Ramsay Randolph Joslin; by gift to 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 its plain gilded border, may have been the one identified as "une glace à demi-ovale" on the list of Jefferson's goods to be transported to Richmond and eventually to Monticello in 1793.1 It was among nine mirrors taxed in 1815.2
- Text from Stein, Worlds, 310
- Pendergrast, Mark. Mirror Mirror: A History of the Human Love Affair with Reflection. New York: Basic Books, 2004.
- Phipps, Paula. Mirrors: Reflections of Style. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2012.
- Schiffer, Herbert F. The Mirror Book: English, American & European. Exton, PA: Schiffer Pub., 1983.
- Search for more sources about the history of mirrors in the Thomas Jefferson Portal
- 1. Adrien Petit's List of Packages Sent to Richmond, May 12, 1793, in PTJ, 26:20. Transcription available at Founders Online.
- 2. Thomas Jefferson, "A list of the taxable property of the subscriber in Albemarle Mar. 1815," Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts, Massachusetts Historical Society.