Looking Glass Maker, attributed to: John Doggett (American, 1780–1857)


American Decorative Arts

On view, 1st floor, American Decorative Arts before 1900

This looking glass is one of the finest of American manufacture before 1850. The accuracy of the different textures of the eagle's feathers, the foliage, the scales of the dolphins, as well as the dynamic rendering of the crest and base show the skill of the carvers. The large scale of the crest and the base are designed to suit its monumental size.


Eastern white pine, birch, gilding, and silvered plate glass


72 1/2 × 38 1/4 in. (184.2 × 97.2 cm)

Credit Line

Mabel Brady Garvan Collection

Accession Number



19th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



.Possibly Elizabeth Derby West (ca. 1762–1810), Salem, Mass. [see note 1]. Acquired by Henry V. Weil (born ca. 1868–1943), New York., by 1929; sold to Francis P. Garvan (1875–1937), New York, July 1929; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1931

Note 1: Francis P. Garvan, New York, purchased this looking glass from Henry V. Weil. A copy of his catalogue card is inscribed, "Derby Family---Salem," together with Weil's name and the price paid for it ("Mantels Mirrors & Miscellaneous" Book, Box 25, Francis P. Garvan. Correspondence and Related Papers. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.). The Derby family of Salem, Mass., included several members of sufficient wealth to commission this looking glass. John Doggett did extensive work for Elizabeth Derby West, including at least two large looking glasses with carved eagles. Garvan purchased an equally imposing looking glass with an associated pier table from Weil that had equally vague Derby provenances.

Sources : Massachusetts, U.S., Compiled Marriages, 1633-1850 - AncestryLibrary.com

Also this: The Scandalous 1806 Divorce of Elizabeth Derby West - New England Historical Society pretty wild!
  • John Stuart Gordon, American Glass: The Collections at Yale (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2018), 46–47, 132, no. 17
  • David L. Barquist, Elisabeth Donaghy Garrett, and Gerald W. R. Ward, American Tables and Looking Glasses in the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 53, 320–21, no. 180, pl. 15, ill
  • Helen Comstock, American Furniture: Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Century Styles (New York: Viking Press, 1962), n.p., fig. 505
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

looking glasses, utilitarian objects


"LYMAN ALLYN / MUSEUM / --" is printed on a paper label pasted onto the back of the eagle's neck; "1932.19" is written in ink on the label.

Technical metadata and APIs


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