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Looking glass

Probably Philadelphia



39-1/2 in x 21 in x 1 in


mahogany, mirrored glass; white pine

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, The David Wilson Mansion, Inc.

Accession Number



“Gild Edge / N 17” is written in ink across the top of the backboard.

Condition Notes

A split across the crest has been glued and supported from behind with a new glue block.  The mirrored glass is new.


Probably ex coll. Mrs. E. Tatnall (Mary Corbit) Warner.


This looking glass resembles many bearing labels of John Elliott and his son and namesake (see accession nos. 1976.134 and 1971.578).  The Elliotts sold looking glasses made in Philadelphia and imported from England.  Identification of secondary woods helps separate the two.  The scalloping around the frame is essentially the same.  The presence of molded and gilded gesso around the inner edge of the frame in combination with the wider proportions compared to earlier documented Elliott looking glasses suggests the date range for this example.

The backboard of this looking glass includes a rare inscription, which references the gilding around the inside border.  The “N 17” portion of the inscription has not yet been interpreted.  Another looking glass has another rare inscription on the backboard stating that it “be done” to William Corbit’s order (see accession no. 2020.113).