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Aesop's Mirrorby Maryalice Huggins
Synopses & Reviews
Everything I needed to know about Fox and Grapes mirror, I knew the moment I first I saw it”
What antiques restorer Maryalice Huggins knew when she stumbled across the mirror at a country auction in Rhode Island was this: She was besotted. Rococo and huge (more than eight feet tall), the mirror was one of the most unusual objects she had ever seen. Huggins had to have it.
The frames elaborate carvings were almost identical to a famous eighteenth-century design. Could this be eighteenth-century American? That would make it rare indeed. But in the rarefied world of American antiques, an object is not significant unless you can prove where its from. Huggins set out to trace the origins of her magnificent mirror.
Fueled with the delightfully obsessive spirit of Susan Orleans The Orchid Thief, Aesops Mirror follows Huggins on her quest as she goes up against the leading lights of the very male world of high-end antiques and dives into the historical archives. And oh, what she finds there! The mirror was likely passed down through generations of the illustrious Brown family of Providence, Rhode Island.
Throughout history, mirrors have been seen as having mystical powers, enabling those who peer into them to connect the past and the future. In Aesops Mirror, Maryalice Huggins does just that, creating a marvelous, one-of-kind book about a marvelous, one of-a-kind American treasure.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM SAROYAN INTERNATIONAL PRIZE FOR WRITING
Falling in love at first sight with a mirror in a Rhode Island auction, Maryalice Huggins sets out to discover its history and learns that it was likely passed down through generations of the illustrious Brown family. Certain of the mirror's prestige, she goes up against the leading lights of the fascinating high-end antiques world and discovers that the value of a beautiful object and its market value are not the same thing at all. As Huggins concludes her "delightful" (Jacki Lyden, NPR) quest of sleuthing, research, and obsession, she learns the true meaning of art.
About the Author
Maryalice Huggins is a restorer and gilder of antique mirrors. She has worked for museums, interior decorators, and private collectors. She lives in Middletown, Rhode Island.
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