George II carved giltwood mirror by Benjamin Goodison


A rare George II carved giltwood mirror by Benjamin Goodison; the bevelled mirror plate set within an arched rectangular frame, the inner edge carved with Vitruvian scroll, the outer edge carved with egg and dart and the sides hung with acanthus husks, the scrolling cresting with central shell and the apron with inverted and reversed central shell, fitted with two brass candleholders.


A mirror of identical design attributed to Benjamin Goodison is in the Royal Collection and hangs at Hampton Court; RCIN 1164 and there are details in the construction of this mirror which are unique to mirrors attributed to Goodison's workshop.


At least ten 'sconces' (mirrors with candle-branches) were supplied for Frederick, Prince of Wales, at Kew and Hampton Court in the 1730s by the cabinet-maker to the Great Wardrobe, Benjamin Goodison. Prince Frederick's Apartment at Hampton Court was at the northern end of the east front of the Palace adjoining the Queen's State Apartment. This mirror relates to a number of this general pattern, some with candle-branches, which survive at Hampton Court Palace and which can be connected with this commission. These mirrors are traditionally identified with an entry in Goodison's account of 1733 for '3 large Glass Sconces in carved & gilt frames wth. two wrot. Arms to Each', for which £27 was charged.

 The clean, pared back design of this mirror reflects the Neo-Palladian style of architecture championed by William Kent. Kent was Master Carpenter of the Office of the Board of Works and oversaw refurbishments of Hampton Court in the 1730s.

 Benjamin Goodison was probably apprenticed to James Moore in 1720. By 1727 he had premises at the 'Golden Spread Eagle', Long Acre and it is assumed that Goodison succeeded Moore in royal service in 1726-27 after Moore's death.

By 1725 he appears to have begun his own business, succeeding Moore in Royal service after his death in 1726-27. His name appears regularly in the Royal accounts after this date for work supplied to the Royal Palaces of St. James's, Kensington, Kew and Windsor Castle. His aristocratic clients included the 1st and 2nd Viscount Folkestone at Longford Castle, Sarah Duchess of Marlborough, the 1st Earl of Leicester at Holkham and the 4th Duke of Bedford. 


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