An American late federal eglomise mirror, New England, circa 1825. Featuring a hand-painted eglomise reverse painting on glass of the U.S.S. "Constitution" Defeating The British Ship "Guerriere". This folk art painting features the U.S.S. Constitution with cannon fire tattered sails and the "Guerriere" with loss of masts and sails. The mirror frame is classical in form with gilt and mahoganized decoration. The four corner squares each with applied brass florets. A wonderful example of authentic high country American furnishings celebrating the War of 1812.
The mirror glass, reverse painting, frame all appear to be original. The only indication of restoration is the backboard at some time was probably removed and renailed, but is unquestionably the original. The mirror measures 13 inches wide X 27 1/2 inches tall. The reverse glass painting measures 7 3/4 inches X 9 3/4 inches.
Here is a link to an early 19th century looking glass with a reverse-painted view of this historic battle on display at the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass.
HISTORY: The USS Constitution engaged the HMS Guerriere on August 19, 1812. HMS Guerriere was a British 3-masted frigate of 38 eighteen-pounder guns. It was originally captured from the French, and was commanded by Captain James Richard Dacres during the War of 1812. The USS Constitutions Commanding Officer, Isaac Hull, was eager to find and fight one of the Royal Navy frigates then active off North America. The Constitution sighted the HMS Guerriere some 400 miles southeast of the British base at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the two ships engaged in combat, with the Constitution scoring a resounding victory. British casualties were more than five times those of the Americans, and Guerriere was beyond saving. Her surviving crewmen were taken prisoner, and the ship was set afire and soon blew up. The Constitution then returned to Boston with her prisoners, arriving on August 30th. This battle, the first of several U.S. Navy victories in ship-to-ship contests, encouraged Americans and embarrassed the British. Despite the excuse that Royal Navy frigates were not as large and powerful as their American counterparts, the real causes of these outcomes were inspired seamanship and vastly better gunnery. For the rest of the 19th Century, long after the War of 1812 was over, America's Navy was credited with an effectiveness that went well beyond its usually modest size.
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