Tabernacle looking glasses were a popular mirror style in the early 19th-Century Federal, or Neoclassical, period. This glass features an eglomise painting of the second US Capitol building, which replaced the original structure destroyed in 1814 by the British. The Capitol's reconstruction involved several architects and was finally completed in 1826. The painting is a period copy of the original, which was likely damaged in transit from the White House to Monroe's estate Oak Hill. The image is possibly based on an 1823 engraving of the Capitol by Charles A. Busby called "The Capitol at Washington. Elevation of the Principal Front."