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Regency Mirror by Thomas Fentham

It is one of the occasional pleasures of examining Georgian furniture that from time to time once comes across the original trade label of the firm which made the piece. Such examples are rare – about once every three years in my experience – but they provide concrete evidence of the age and authenticity of the object.

We recently acquired a large Regency convex mirror that retains both its original gilt finish and four girandole arms. In addition it has an intact trade label which reads:

Thomas Fentham, No 136 Stand Near Somerset House, Manufacture of looking-glasss, convex and concave, mirrors and allsorts of picture and glass frames, glass for exportation.

Fentham is well recorded in the Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture, with examples of his work found at Erddig, the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

There is an even more fascinating reference given by Geoffrey Wills in his 1965 Country Life book English Looking Glasses. He refers to an oval gilt looking glass with Fentham’s label being at 10 Downing Street!

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