American Federal Period Ebonized Mirror with an Eglomisé Naval Battle Scene


An American Federal Period mirror with an églomisé naval battle scene. The rectangular ebonized wood framed mirror is in two sections bordered with half turned columns decorated with gilding, the lower section is glazed, the top section shows an oval églomisé (reverse painted) painting on glass of two frigates and a slightly visible man-of war engaged in a naval battle. The frigate in the foreground is fighting under the American Flag shown with alternating red and white stripes and thirteen stars. The man-of-war and the other frigate are fighting under the English flag. The painting is probably referencing that point in US History when the United States declared war on Great Britain in June 1812. The U.S. Navy was an eighteen-year-old institution with barely a dozen ships to its name. The British Royal Navy, by contrast, had been operating for centuries, and had over five hundred active warships in its fleet. Eighty-five of these ships were sailing American waters at the time war broke out explaining the odds against the American frigate even if the painting smacks of patriotism suggesting otherwise.

Dimensions: 39″H (99cm) x 20″W (51cm)

Ref: HYY550