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Looking glass




27 in x 16-1/8 in x 1-1/4 in


Mahogany (see "Comments"), European conifer, gilding, mirrored glass

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of H. Rodney Sharp

Accession Number


Condition Notes

The scalloped ears projecting at the tops of each side have been repaired.  The body of the phoenix is a lamination that is also a repair.  All of the small reinforcing wood strips behind the applied pediment and scallops appear to be replacements.


Ex coll. H. Rodney Sharp


The modest-sized looking glass is set into a frame with an applied scalloped pediment, projecting scalloped ears at the top and bottom of each side, and along the bottom.  Cross-banded moldings encircle the glass; the inner edge is molded and gilded.  Looking glasses of this type enjoyed popularity for many decades, extending into the 19th century.  The carved and gilded phoenix, however, perched in front of a circular cut in the pediment that makes it stand out, helps date this looking glass in the third quarter of the 18th century.

The primary wood of this looking glass is visually identified as mahogany, based on parenchyma visible in the pediment, but the wood has strong visual characteristics of walnut.  Assuming the mahogany identification is correct, it is not a high grade of that wood.