English Looking Glass
Mid-18th Century; Walnut veneer and Parcel Gilt
Bronze paint had been applied to the gilded elements. Removal of the bronze paint coating revealed a generally intact gold surface as well as details like stippling and other finely carved foliate veining. Combinations of burnished and matte gilding, noted on the sight edge and outer carved edge, create a subtle light and shadow effect. The extant gold surfaces, likely original, are an excellent example of the quality of work performed in England during this period.
The treatment consisted of the removal of the bronze overpaint, restoration of losses in the bird and carving on the proper right side garland, as well as filling losses in gesso, bole and gold. A degraded varnish was removed from the walnut veneered surfaces and the finish was restored with shellac.