The decorative repertory of this unusually well-preserved mirror represents a fusion of tradition and innovation in the decorative arts of German-speaking countries in the Baroque period. The combination of the knight in armour and noble coronet and the elaborate acanthus frame betrays the lingering influence of Gothic art, as similar foliate ornamentation was a key element in German late medieval carving, both architecturally in stone column capitals, friezes, and window surrounds and in carved decoration on wooden cabinets, chests, and overdoors; see for example, the giltwood spandrels above the door to the Goldene Stube in Salzburg Castle, illustrated by Kreisel and Himmelheber, op. cit., fig. 86-87.
The sheer exuberance of the bold acanthus carving, however, also reflects a knowledge of contemporary trends in late 17thcentury Italian Baroque art and comparable use of acanthus scrolls integrating flowerheads is seen on console tables and mirrors throughout Italy, particularly in Rome, examples of which are illustrated by Colle, op. cit., p.104-113. Although similar console tables and mirrors were produced in several German centres, including Berlin, the Rhineland, Bamberg and Hesse (see Kreisel and Himmelheber, Vol.I, figs. 622-3, 625, 693-96 surely 673-679??.), in correct refs this mirror is likely to emanate from a Southern German or Austrian region with traditionally strong Italian links, such as the Tyrol.
The Adelskrone, also known as the Helms- or Laubkrone was a crown used in the Holy Roman Empire to denote the noble title of a Knight, but below the rank of Duke, Prince, Count and Baron. It consisted of eight tines of which five were normally depicted in visual representations, showing a coronet with leaves in the centre flanked by two pearls and leaves at the ends.
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