This pair of beautifully carved giltwood pier mirrors epitomises the whimsical style of the English rococo as seen through the eyes of John Linnell (1729–96), one of the most creative English 18th century carvers and designers. The form of the present mirrors, with the use of interlocking foliate carved C-scrolls, floral garlands and slender columnar uprights, derives from several Linnell designs from 1755 to 1760 identifiable in his surviving manuscript drawings preserved in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (see E. 3715-1911, E. 205-1929, E. 226-1929)1
. The floral basket, so often employed as an ornate cresting, has in this instance been incorporated to the apron.
1 E. 205-1929 and E. 226-1929 are reproduced in Hayward, H. and Kirkham, P, William and John Linnell, London, 1980, p. 96, figs. 184 and 186.