Reflected glory: A mid-eighteenth century frame once hanging in Buckingham Palace

We are delighted to reveal a particularly extraordinary lot in our upcoming Fine Frames auction - a mid-eighteenth century English carved Rococo frame and mirror, which was once hanging in Buckingham Palace. 


06/10/2021     Old Masters

eighteenth century English carved Rococo frame

The piece, lot 98,  is an outstanding and important George II carved and limed mirror, in the manner of such masters as Matthias Lock (1710-1765) and, most notably, Luke Lightfoot (1722-1789). 

The sculptural and idiosyncratic quality of the design is typical of Lightfoot's work as a carver, such as the grandiose extension and re-decoration of Claydon House, Buckinghamshire, from 1757–69. The exceptional Rococo carved woodwork of the house, some in the prevailing Chinese taste, together with the grand inlaid staircase, are major achievements and show the quality of the work that was produced under his direction. 

Mid eighteenth century Rococo frame

Lot 98: A mid-eighteenth century English carved Rococo frame

This Rococo frame has been stripped and lined, giving the frame a contemporary feel and revealing a fascinating insight and appreciation into the 18th-century craftsmen's methods and practices. The elaborate composition is centred at the base with the Green Man, a symbol of rebirth. The boldly carved rocallie scallopshell cartouches are entwined with overlapping foliage, giving a rare lyrical quality to the overall scheme, adding to the grandeur associated with the frame's importance, as part of the Royal Collection. At a vast 215 x 145 cm, this magnificent piece will bring regal, Georgian elegance to an impressive space. 

Buckingham Palace, formally known as Buckingham House, is the building at the centre of the palace we know today. It was originally a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 and acquired by King George III in 1761 when this mirror would likely have been in place.  

This frame is a contrast to the fine Dutch 17th Century ebony rippled frame (lot 86) also featuring in this sale, as well as a more traditional French Louis XIII carved and gilded frame (lot 99) and an Italian 18th century carved and gilded Salvator Rosa frame (lot 120) – all of which demonstrate the changing tastes throughout the centuries. 

Old Master Paintings, including Fine Frames & Property from the Library of the Late David Scrase, Tuesday 12 October, 11am. 

View the catalogue here.