The bold pediment frame of this looking glass, inspired by classical and Renaissance architecture, would have made it an impressive addition to the Washingtons' home when it was acquired in the third quarter of the eighteenth century. Large oblong looking glasses such as this were intended to hang between windows in an elegant public space. George Washington may have displayed this example in the Dining Room or West Parlor at Mount Vernon, prior to the redesign and expansion of the mansion in the 1780s. Candlelight reflected in its mirrored surface and playing off the gilt decoration would have created a brilliant atmosphere during an evening's entertainment.


Pediment looking glass in a mahogany-veneered frame with gilt ornament; swan's neck pediment with floral medallion terminals and pendant acanthus surrounds a gilt bird finial, facing right, atop the central plinth; carved and gilt cornice; silvered, rectangular panel of glass surrounded by a narrow band of carved and gilt molding within a frame with crosseted upper corners and lower corners shaped like trusses, all outlined and carved and gilt molding; carved and gilt chains of leaves, fruit, and flowers affixed to the sides, in the indented space between the upper and lower corners; shaped apron with carved and gilt border.





Mahogany (primary), spruce (secondary), gesso, gilt, glass


Overall (H x W x D): 58 in. x 30 1/2 in. x 1 3/8 in. (147.32 cm x 77.47 cm x 3.51 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1956

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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