ANTIQUE ENGLISH MIRROR IN GILDED WOOD WITH DOLPHINS, EARLY 19TH CENTURY
Large ovalmirror in carved and gilded wood decorated with a frame of dolphins with intertwined tails emerging from the water. The work on the scales is very careful. The stylised dolphin motif is often used in decoration. From Antiquity to the Italian Renaissance, representations of dolphins (mounted by Amphitrite, accompanying Venus or embracing an anchor), are generally realistic. From the Renaissance until the beginning of the 19th century, ornamentalists retained only the slender and supple appearance of the animal. They turned it into a kind of chimera, distorting its head, beak and tail and treating it as an arabesque. Very popular towards the end of the 18th century and until the 1840s, the dolphin was frequently reproduced as a decorative ornament on fountains, candelabras, clocks and cups. Our antique mirror features these fantastic, hybrid, undulating marine animals. English work. 19th century.