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    The Linnell overmantle mirror.

    THIS English mirror conceived as a Chinese landscape (see post for June 30) features at the Masterpiece Fair in London until July 5.  It is being offered by Apter-Fredericks Ltd., who sell fine 18th century English furniture from their shop at Fulham Road, London SW3.

    It was made c1755 by John Linnell, possibly commissioned by Thomas Thynne, 3rd Viscount Weymouth and 1st Marquess of Bath (d. 1796) for his London house in Hill Street, Berkeley Square. It first appears in an 1896 inventory at 48 Berkeley Square following the death of the 4th Marquess of Bath.
    Sold at Sotheby’s in 1940 it became a prized possession of the celebrated Virginian hostess Nancy Tree, later Lancaster, famous for her taste as a London decorator through ownership of Sybil Colefax Ltd. and her partnership with John Fowler.

    The mirror at the tapestry drawing room in Ditchley Park. (Click to enlarge).

    It was following the Trees’ 1933 acquisition of the Georgian mansion of Ditchley Park, Oxford that the mirror was purchased for Mrs Tree’s Sitting Room, where it appeared in a watercolour made by Alexandre Serbriakoff. It travelled to New York with Ronald Tree (d.1976) and his second wife Marietta (d. 1991) and featured in the latter’s New York apartment illustrated in Arthur Schlesinger, Junior’s profile of her as ‘Chair’ of the Citizens Committee for New York City published in the Architectural Digest of March 1984.

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