This phenomenal Louis XV-style French mirror features an elegant shape and an undulating, intricately carved giltwood frame. Composed of flawless beveled glass, this mirror is a study in Rococo glamour, with its asymmetrical, foliate decoration of falling acanthus leaves, C scrolls and quatrefoil trellis accents. A highly unique and prized specimen of 19th-century French design, the mirror's grand proportion and luxurious design are certain to add a commanding touch to any interior. Large mirrors such as this are incredibly rare and difficult to find in such superb condition.
42” wide x 82” high
A revival of the luxurious Louis XV style took place in France in the mid 19th century. It came about as part of the preference during this period, known as the Second Empire, for a mixture of styles from previous centuries. Largely due to the influence of Emperor Napoleon III, who wished to have his name associated with the classical grandeur of Rome and cement his place in French history, Eclecticism reigned as craftsmen revisited the most opulent styles from decades past and created their own elaborate versions. Artisans found their inspiration in the designs of many time periods, including the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassic Louis XVI. Inspiration also came from the near and far East, as the treasures of China, Japan and Constantinople made their wayto Europe.
Mirrors have always been among the most prized possessions of the great houses of Europe. For centuries, the Venetians were the leaders in producing mirrors of any substantial size, though even those examples were small by today’s standards. The discovery in 1688 of a method for producing massive sheets of glass revolutionized interior decorating and it seemed fitting that France would dominate the production of fine quality mirror glass during the 18th century, even going so far as to prohibit the importation of glass from anywhere in Europe. And, though they were in high demand, examples of such exceptional size and opulence were very rare, as the glass was extremely difficult, dangerous and expensive to produce and the frames very time consuming to create.
World Mirrors: 1650-1900, 1990, Graham Child