At fist glance, in a dark auction house this looked like a nice piece of tamp art. Closer inspection was very enlightening.
First of all, the construction and materials were definitely early 19th Century. Second, the dark surface is a black over red faux finish, possibly northern New England and definitely the first half of the 19th Century. Most surprisingly, though, the edge decoration that looked so much like the diamond carvings of classic tramp art was actually braided and tacked leather strips. Take a good look at the photo detail. The glass looks to be original as is the faux surface. Structurally it is in good shape but the leather trim has dried and there is considerable loss. The mirror measures 22" wide by 12 1/4" tall with a 6" deep shelf.
This is the kind of piece that gets our "heart-a-pounding." Certainly unique and rare. This is what great Folk Art is all about.
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