A beautiful pair of Venetian engraved mirrors in carved giltwood frames. The frames are ornamented with floral and foliate arabesques and centred below by distinctive grotesque mascarons ( masks ). The mercury glass plates are skillfully engraved with masked figures of a musician and a vendor. Missing sconces. One mirror has cracks. Venice, 18th century.

H 920mm, W 570mm

Historically famed for its glass, Venice also became the leading centre for the manufacture of fine quality mirrored glass. Up until the early-mid nineteenth century mirrored glass was made by applying a thin layer of mercury to the back of plate glass. Production was extremely difficult, breakages were commonplace and as a result mirrored glass was scarce and very expensive. Thus mirrors were considered a status symbol, reserved for the elite and were displayed as a mark of refinement, power and wealth.