About the object
A late 19th century Claude Glass or black mirror, the case covered with black cloth imitating shagreen. A sliding brass pin locks the case closed during travel and there are two suspensions rings to hang it by; landscape or portrait.
5 7/8 in x 5 1/8 in x 7/8 in
Named after the great 17th century landscape painter, Claude Lorrain, whose name became synonymous with the picturesque aesthetic of the late 18th century.
Also referred to as a Gray Glass after its use was popularized by the poet Thomas Gray in his Journal of his Tour in the Lake District. The glass is a cased tablet of solid, almost black glass, polished to a convex surface and carried by an artist or enthusiast in their pocket. The user would turn their back to a scene and observe the landscape reflected on its surface with the added picturesque aesthetic of subtly graduated tones.
The Claude glass has the effect of abstracting the subject reflected in it from its surroundings, reducing and simplifying the colour and tonal range to give a painterly quality.
English circa 1900.