Each with the original beveled mirror-plate within carved, giltwood mouldings and neo-classical crestings comprising a flower basket with overflowing stems held on each side in the beak of a bird, with scrolling foliage and oval tole medallions depicting Athena and Mars; the polychrome-decorated borders in the Etruscan taste featuring classical arabesques and oval medallions and a painted patera to each corner; with inverted giltwood finials.
The figures of Athena and Mars are based on etchings by Carlo Antonini (Italian, 1749 - 1835) executed in 1780 after Salvator Rosa (Italian, 1615 - 1673): Soldier Holding a Cane in His Right Hand, Pointing Toward the Left and Soldier, Standing, Holding Pike with Both Hands, National Galleries of Scotland, Transferred from the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (P2155.1.6 and P2155.4.2.)
Johann Heinrich Stobwasser worked under the patronage of the Duke of Brunswick and in 1772 opened a factory. It produced wares which were decorated in a new type of lacquer and employed around eighty craftsmen. The business was distinctive in employing fine artists to paint the items (mosty boxes), known as Brunswick (Braunschweig) or Stobwasser wares. Stobwasser produced articles for daily use, but soon started to make art wares and finally luxury goods. The lacquerware called gained a reputation across the continent and despite offers from the courts in Kassel, Dresden and Berlin, Stobwasser stayed in Braunschweig.
Stobwasser received a number of prestigious commissions. A secretaire-a-abattant attributed to Stobwasser, circa 1790, most probably acquired by either Friedrich Wilhelm II, King of Prussia (1744-1897), or his son Friedrich Wilhelm III, King of Prussia (1770-1840), Stadtschloss Berlin was sold at Christie's London 25 April 2017, Noble & Private Collections Part I, lot 161.
A pair of demi-lune side-cabinets with closely-related decoration, now in the Wittumspalais in Weimar, are recorded as having been given by Duchess Philippine Charlotte of Brunswick to her daughter Augusta Dorothea (1749-1810).
A mirror with very similar border decoration to this one is illustrated in D. Richter, Stobwasser, Lackkunst aus Braunschweig & Berlin, Band II, Müenster 2005, p. 22, fig. 14.