Edwards was co-author with Percy Macquoid of the hugely influential Dictionary of English Furniture published from 1924-27.
The mirror is pictured in volume two where it is noted as being ‘from Mr Ralph Edwards’ and can be seen in situ alongside Edwards and his wife Marjorie as part of the drawing room furnishings at their home Suffolk House on Chiswick Mall close to the Thames.
Edwards was the grandfather of the vendor who consigned it for sale with other pieces to the Connoisseur’s Library Sale at Bonhams (27.5/25% buyer’s premium) in Knightsbridge on February 15-16. It was estimated at £7000-9000 and sold at £20,000.
Edwards and Macquoid dated the mirror to c.1715, although in line with more modern analysis of such pieces, Bonhams suggested it was “perhaps more realistically c.1725”. The brass scrolled candle arms are later.
Edwards was one of the earliest scholars to go back to contemporary sources and begin to restore the names of craftsmen, makers and artists who had fallen into obscurity – although he later opined that this approach had caused furniture history to become too dry and mundane.
An early 18th century triple plate overmantel mirror sold well over hopes at Franklin Browns (18% buyer’s premium) in Edinburgh on February 19. Guided at just £200-300, it took £10,700.
Probably from the Queen Anne period, it retained all of its original bevelled plates within a simple giltwood border frame. The tooled brass mounts to the corners were a nice detail.