Looking Glass

Retailer: John Elliott Sr. (1713–1791)

Date: ca. 1775

Geography: Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Pine

Dimensions: 48 x 26 in. (121.9 x 66 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Purchase, Friends of the American Wing Fund and Max H. Gluck Foundation, Inc. Gift, in honor of Virginia and Leonard Marx, 1990

Accession Number: 1990.18


This looking glass with frame in the full Rococo style is one of the rarest of American furniture forms. The frame is carved out of white pine, a favorite material for American carvers. It was painted white (the original finish survives in nearly perfect condition), and would probably have been mounted on a brightly colored wall where it would have given the effect of having been fashioned free-hand out of plaster. This style was fashionable among Philadelphia's wealthy merchant class in the 1760s and 1770s and derives from London work of the mid-century. The frame bears the printed label of John Elliot, a retailer of looking glasses.