Mirror enlarge


Looking glasses were frequently amongst a New England family's most stylish and prized possessions. They were hung in prominent places, often in a home's front entryway or in the best parlor, where guests would be sure to see and admire them. Captain Elias Davis, the first owner of the Museum's Pleasant Street historic house, had a total of seven looking glasses in his home at the time of his death in 1821. With the exception of a gold watch and a room size carpet, the looking glasses were his most valuable possessions.

This looking glass, or mirror as we typically call them, dates from the first quarter of the 19th century and is currently on display in the Museum galleries. The reverse painting on glass depicts the battle between the Constitution and Guerriere off the coast of Cape Ann, one of the most heralded skirmishes of  the War of 1812.

Image rights & reproduction


Date of work: c. 1815-1820
Medium: Two part Sheraton, gilt frame with reverse painting on glass
Accession number: 1289.5
Credit line: Gift of George O. Stacy, 1948


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