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American Decorative Arts
Maker, attributed to: John Doggett, American, 1780–1857

Looking Glass

1802–25

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

72 1/2 × 38 1/4 in. (184.2 × 97.2 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
1931.316
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.
Geography: 
Made in Roxbury, Massachusetts
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
American
Period: 
19th century
Classification: 
Furniture
Provenance: 

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 FPG-AAA). 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 associated pier table from Weil that had equally vague Derby provenances. Gift in 1931 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

Helen Comstock, American Furniture: Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Century Styles (New York: Viking Press, 1962), n.p., fig. 505.

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.

John Stuart Gordon, American Glass: The Collections at Yale (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2018), 46–47, 132, no. 17.

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 such records is ongoing.