early 16th century
Poplar. Carved, gilt; orangebole, blue and red tempera.
Overall, 78.8 x 72.3 cm; sight, 25.8 x 25.5 cm; rebate, 28 x 27.5 cm.
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Essentially a tabernacle with decorative relief panels, this carved and gilt mirror frame is structurally similar to a type of tabernacle frame made for private devotional images in Venice and the Veneto during the first third of the sixteenth century. The present mirror is a modern replacement. Holes in the base molding, now plugged, evidently held hooks for hanging combs and brushes. Mirror frames of this type must have been common at one time, though surviving examples are relatively rare. The Lehman example is decorated with polychrome and pastiglia (applied ornament of gesso). Detached candelabrum-style columns support imposts punched with a scale pattern and a dentilated cornice with blue recesses. The base of the frame is supported on consoles above a relief panel in the form of an antependium, which is carved with acanthus leaves around a shield. The top and sides of the frame are similarly extended with relief panels of summary griffins, acanthus, and vine leaves against a punched ground. The entablature and predella friezes are filled with pressed pastiglia ornament.
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