16 November, 2011

Edith's Silver Dressing Mirror

This extraordinary silver mirror is still in existence today; it is but one of the thousands of items that were part of Edith's extensive collection of fine art and antiques that went on auction Tuesday through Saturday in January of 1934. Edith's collection included French and English silver, porcelain, rare books, precious tapestries, rugs and Oriental art. The mahogany backing is inscribed "E.R. McC March 1911."

"Crafted by Charles Brown, for Richards and Brown of London, the mirror is completely adorned with a wealth of classical motifs and mythological marine creatures, a statuette of Venus emerging from a scallop shell in the arched pediment." I think anyone would agree that the artistry and detail are stunning.

The hallmark reads "London, 1875."

Width: 22 1/4 Inches - Height:30 Inches

The 1934 auction was a travesty. In the 1920's Edith's estate was valued at $40 million dollars. $40 million 1920's dollars. Well into the Great Depression and after Edith's death, Villa Turicum alone (which cost millions to build in 1912) sold for $51,524. The $3 million dollar estimate for the 146 lot auction brought in $57,565. (Incidentally, Edith's daughter Muriel, who attended the auction to re-purchase many family items had her $20,000. block bid refused.)

And Edith's mirror? It is currently on the market for $78,850.

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