A magnificent George III carved giltwood girandole mirror with triple candle arms, the cartouche-shaped moulded frame with elegantly carved foliate scrollwork, supporting a spray of leafy fronds surmounted by a shell motif, the base similarly carved with festoons and drops of husks, the scrolled candle arms having drip-pans and nozzles in cast and chased gilt metal. Re-gilding.
The design in the manner of William France.
In the gallery of Aske Hall, the Yorkshire estate purchased by Sir Lawrence Dundas Bt (1712 - 1781) in 1763 and the present seat of the 4th Marquess of Zetland, hang a pair of girandole mirrors of practically the same design as the present mirror. It is known that Sir Lawrence Dundas believed in the employment of more than one cabinet-maker to help him furnish his various houses and Robert Adam probably helped him to make his choice. Amongst the small number of eminent eighteenth century craftsmen, who were busy working on houses such as 19 Arlington Street, Sir Lawrence Dundas's London house and his equally important country house at Moore Park, was the highly successful partnership of John Bradburn and William France.
John Bradburn (d. 1781) had a carving shop in Hemmings Yard in St Martin's Lane from 1758. He and his partner, William France (d. 1774) had been working for the cabinet-maker partnership of William Vile and John Cobb for Anthony Chute at The Vyne, Hampshire, before both were employed by the Royal household at Buckingham Palace. William France was joined by John Bradburn on work invoiced to Sir Lawrence Dundas soon after July 1764.
It is interesting to note that the entry in France's June 1764 accounts to Sir Lawrence which states: "For 2 elegant carved Girandoles with a large plate of glass, and 3 lights in each to shew the glass, festoons and drops of husks falling from Different parts all gilt in burnished gold at £28 6s £56 12s." In his article "Some Rococo Cabinet-Makers and Sir Lawrence Dundas", Apollo, September 1967, Anthony Coleridge states of these mirrors that William France's invoice seems to correspond in every detail to the pair of mirrors now in the Gallery at Aske and it would therefore be reasonable to suppose that these are the ones supplied by France.
This being the case, the mirror here described is of such a similar design, differing only minutely in a few unimportant details, to suggest that this mirror also emanates from the workshop of William France.
Another pair are recorded in France and Bradburn's joint account of 21st December 1764 with a charge of £97 12s. These magnificent girandoles, photographed hanging in the ground-floor front parlour of 19 Arlington Street in Country Life, 17th September 1921, pp.350-355, fig.7, were sold by Mallett in 2003.
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