The form of the dressing table, or vanity, began to develop in the late 17th century in Europe. Eventually, in the later 19th century, the dressing table, like other cabinet furniture, became a matching part of the bedroom suite. A tabletop mirror such as this would have performed its duties in the same way but was portable and thus of great use for any well-procured female.
Sherford House is a grade II listed building in Bromyard and Winslow, Herefordshire, England and is a hallmark Georgian town house with all the expected elegance and style of this period. Thomas Pritchard, an 18th Century architect known for his works at Croft and Powis Castle among others, is reputed to have designed this house in 1760. Well known for his interiors, of particular note throughout the house are some magnificent fireplaces, shuttered sash windows, ornate high ceilings and cornicing. In more recent years an Orangery has been added and outside a terraced walled garden has been created with a central water feature, all overlooked by a magnificent folly. This mirror would have been introduced to the interior just after the time of the houses inception.
The fine art of chinoiserie has been in existence since the 17th century, and it depicts Chinese style designs applied to furniture, ceramics and fabrics. Chinoiserie is wonderfully beautiful, and tends to depict realistic and fictitious animals, insects, people, foliage, structures and various other elaborate Asian designs that can be incorporated into a number of decorating themes. Antique pieces embellished with Asian-style chinoiserie and high-quality japanning are coated with baked-on layers that look very much like modern-day high-gloss enamel. Chinoiserie that has been japanned is coated with many layers of resin-based gloss and baked dry. Much polishing goes into the true technique of japanning, and high-quality pieces will appear to have deep layers of gloss with the sheen of fine marble, but true antique pieces like this will show signs of age and wear.
Beautifully untouched and genuine bona fide English country house.