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image XF232
Overmantel mirror, XF232, English, unknown maker, c.1812-25, gilt wood and mirror glass, ©Sir John Soane's Museum, London. Photograph: Hugh Kelly.

Overmantel mirror, English, unknown maker, c.1812-25

Gilt wood and mirror glass

Height: 179cm
Width: 141cm
Depth: 5cm

Museum number: XF232

Curatorial note

With wide flat frame at sides and top and much narrower frame across the bottom; narrow cavetto mouldings around inner and outer edges and a single vertical bead moulding up the back of each side.1

This mirror is shown in situ above the fireplace in the 1825 view of the South Drawing Room by J. M. Gandy (Vol. 82, 29). Although the narrow bottom edge might be taken to indicate that the mirror has been cut down, this follows the pattern of the overmantel mirror in Soane’s first floor front room at No. 12 Lincoln’s Inn Fields (shown in a marginal sketch on the 1792 plan 32/2A/5). The frame of this mirror is almost certainly a Soane design and has much in common with the picture frames he commissioned each year for the large architectural watercolours he exhibited in the Royal Academy annual exhibition, although those frames normally have a narrow cavetto moulding on the inside of the frame and a wider one on the outside.2

1 The frame was re-gilded by Victoria Jagger in 1987-88 as part of Peter Thornton’s restoration of the Drawing Rooms.
2 H. Dorey, ‘The Historic Framing and presentation of watercolours, drawings and prints at Sir John Soane’s Museum’ in The Historic Framing and Presentation of Watercolours, Drawings and Prints, ed. Nancy Bell, 1997 pp. 20-31.


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk