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Photo: Courtesy Christie's, New York
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Looking glass

Object number



Maker, formerly attributed to John Townsend, American, 1732/33–1809
Maker, probably by James Stokes, American, 1755–1831


Height: 50 in. (127 cm) Width: 23 1/2 in. (59.69 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


Probably made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formerly said to have been made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Mahogany (molding on plinth), mahogany veneers; Eastern white pine (eagle, frame members, crest, base, blocks in crest and upper brackets); yellow poplar (outer blocks behind brackets); Atlantic white cedar (backboards)


Ann Holzer (1917–1999) and Philip Holzer (1919–2011), Great Neck, New York, 1974; by descent in their family; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 20, 2017, lot 588

Associated names

Ann Holzer
Philip Holzer


Although this looking glass is similar to the example at Winterthur (RIF245) with a John Townsend label, that label is now believed to be fake. The looking glass is most similar to those labeled by Philadelphia looking glass maker James Stokes (ca.1755–1831). See, for instance, the example at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. no. 1994.421. Source: Martha Willoughby, notes to lot 588, Christie's, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver, New York, January 20, 2017.

See also


Philip Holzer, Philip and Ann Holzer Collection (n.p.: privately printed, 1990), 48–49, no. 16, ill.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver, sale cat. (January 20, 2017), 73, lot 588.