An essential piece of furniture, the mirror always finds its place in an interior, whether it is luxurious or more modest. Its usefulness in the management of daily life is recognized by all.
It ranges from the small bathroom mirror essential for shaving, make-up, to the ceremonial piece with a gilded wooden frame, or the glass or crystal frame in colours, such as the Venetian mirrors of the 18th century. Its format increases both its price and its decorative value.
In the bourgeois interiors of past centuries, large mirrors adorn the reception rooms, positioning their owners at the top of the social scale. Nowadays, this value scale is still short. However, new generations will be more sensitive to original works by creators, abandoning more classical styles such as the Empire, the Louis XV or Louis XVI style. However, it can be noted that many contemporary decorators do not hesitate to mix periods even in resolutely modern apartments. Thus, we can mention a large mirror in the Louis XIII style made under Napoleon III. Its blackened wooden frame is enhanced by a decoration of copper leaves repoussé in gold tones. In addition, its pediment is decorated with two angels in a floral decoration.
The mirrors of the 17th and 18th centuries were called “mercury” mirrors with this oxidation tone that reveals small, very bright silver dots with more or less grey tones. Manufacturing techniques have evolved over time, especially since the middle of the 19th century with the advent of the industrial era. Contemporary designers create pieces where metal blends with curved mirrors, also known as “witch mirrors”.
The rigorous graphic design of furniture and mirrors is also a basic trend. Thus, Jason Maclean, an English designer, emphasizes in his taste for purity, the contrast between the sober line of a 1950s mirror and the total whiteness of the walls. In a different but also attractive style, the Provençal designer Line Vautrin created a mirror at the end of the 1950s composed of small triangles of golden glass always combined with glass mosaic and the composite material she loves: talosel.
We will also note the public’s interest in original mirrors such as this original Belgian bevelled glass drop mirror framed by two warthog tusks. Moreover, it can be linked to the Belgian symbolist movement of the early 20th century.
The wide variety of mirror styles allows everyone to personalize their interior by giving it a personal touch. Sun-shaped frames are very popular whether they are made of gilded wood or metal. The mirror is both utilitarian and decorative. Its appeal is the possibility of giving an optical illusion by positioning it on a wall facing an opening overlooking a landscape. It will be reflected in the room, giving the impression of doubling its surface area.
We can mention a sunglass mirror from the 1950s made of metal. It enhances the radii by an asymmetrical geometric construction. Moreover, its refined appearance makes it compatible with today’s design interiors.
On other continents, mirrors in the past centuries were not made of glass but of silver or polished copper. The reflection of the person appeared in the brilliance of the metal. While their usefulness is initially less in a Western approach, they are original decorative objects that can be combined on the walls with all styles, whether classical or contemporary.
Personalizing your living environment is a choice that allows you to bring a part of your personal history into your house or apartment.
The mirrors objects of the past, for the most part, often transmitted by his family always have the ability to develop our imagination. We see each other in the present in a relic of the past.
So why not be seduced by the succession of generations that have found themselves like us at this moment in front of this mirror reflecting a fleeting moment of joy or reflection: a permanence of life and its feelings crossing the flow of generations.
Pierre Carron for P&P Art Leaders