This looking glass may have been among the “Brackets glasses etc” purchased by George Washington on March 16, 1791 from carver and gilder James Reynolds. They likely graced the Green Drawing Room of the presidential manse in Philadelphia. Mounted on a wall behind an oil lamp supported on a wall bracket, their reflections illuminated evening entertainments, including the Friday “drawing rooms” hosted by Mrs. Washington. At the conclusion of his presidency, Washington presented this glass and its mate, along with a pair of brackets and lamps, to Elizabeth Powel, widow of mayor Samuel Powel, as a “token of his respectful and affectionate remembrance.”

See also the ornamental brackets, W-2540/A-B and W-57/B-C.





Yellow poplar (frame), Atlantic white cedar (backing board), gilt, gesso, glass


Overall: 50 in. x 16 1/2 in. (127 cm x 41.91 cm)


Purchased with funds donated by Mrs. Albert Harkness, Regent and Vice Regent for Rhode Island, in memory of her husband, Thomas I. Powel, 1940

Object Number



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