Crested mirror frame

DATE:
c. 1660
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Oak and gilding
CLASSIFICATION:
Furnishings
DIMENSIONS:
57 × 37 × 7 in. (144.78 × 93.98 × 17.78 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Decorative Arts and Design
LOCATION:
Wendy and Emery Reves Collection - Entry, Level 3
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
OBJECT NUMBER:
1985.R.407

General Description

Baroque exuberance abounds in the massing of leaves and flowers carved in high relief on this large frame. Cherubs hold a shield intended for a coat-of-arms. A border of flowers interrupted by blank areas, rather than continuous flowerage, indicates a late 17th-century date.

Mirrors were often as valuable and important as paintings in 16th- and early 17th-century interiors, and were frequently framed even more elaborately than pictures. This superb mirror frame is of a type produced in Italy, France, Flanders, and England in the mid-17th century for aristocratic or upper-middle-class interiors. The design called for two separately carved and gilded components, a rectangular frame for the mirror itself, and an elaborate crest. In certain cases, the crests enable us to identify the owner of the frame, either by a coat of arms or by a combination of heraldic symbols commonly associated with a particular family. In this case, the cherubs that dominate the center of the floral crest flank a shield that has no coat of arms, suggesting that the frame was either made for stock, or once had a painted coat of arms that is now lost. Its technique and style relate it most clearly to mirror frames produced in France.

Adapted from

  • Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1985), 172.
  • Dallas Museum of Art, Decorative Arts Highlights from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1995), 63.