H.M. Luther, New York Sotheby's New York, June 7, 1986, lot 186 ($143,000)
This lot is related to a design for a mirror appearing in Plate CLXVII of the third edition of Thomas Chippendale's Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director (1762) that includes a fox and a bird holding a morsel of food in its beak. The mirrors also show the influence of the woodcarver and draughtsman Thomas Johnson (1714-1778), whose series of designs published in the 1750s including Twelve Girandoles (1750) and A New Book of Ornaments (1758) were, like the Director, seminal in disseminating the English rococo style to a wider audience. Johnson's work often incorporated animal motifs based on Francis Barlow's illustrations to Aesop's Fables from 1687, and the scene on these mirrors could refer to the fable of either the Fox and the Stork or the Fox and the Crow.
Please note the date for this lot should read: 18th/19th Century
In good condition overall, with some losses and rubbing to gilding. Old breaks, repairs and small replacements to carved elements, particularly on the apron and cresting. . A few foliate elements lacking, though hardly noticeable even with close inspection. Plates later. Good proportions and ready to hang. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.