Iron Mirror-frame

forged iron frame, damascened in gold and silver

29.1 x 21.1 cm

This mirror-frame presents a definitely Eastern appearance, although except for a few ornamental details it is conventionally Western in concept. The top-heaviness caused by the enlarged pediment area has its predecessor in the rococo damascened iron mirror-frame commissioned by Charles III of Spain in 1782 from Carlos Montargis, Ramón Zuloaga’s master. The central oval bearing the dedicatory inscription on Montargis’s frame is here repeated by Plácido, who has filled it with gold and silver arabesques. It is the pointed and scrolled surmounting element, the circles with six-pointed stars, and the scalloped lower profile with the turned-out feet that alter the concept of the conventional frame.

J. D. Lavin (ed.), The Art and Tradition of the Zuloagas: Spanish Damascene from the Khalili Collection, Oxford 1997, cat. 7, p. 93.