A Decorative Continental c.1800 Painted Trumeau Mirror


Origin: French or Dutch
Period: Empire
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1800-20
Height: 28.75 inches
Width: 11.25 inches (at maximum)

The hand painted moulded frame, sectioned in yellow and ebony and decorated to each with floral sprays and centred by an oil still life panel on a dark ground depicting flowers in a vase, the panel above a rectangular mirror plate, with the original foxed plate glass survives from the early nineteenth century.

The mirror is in very attractive decorative and untouched condition. The frame and back boarding are as should be and the original plate glass has some attractive areas of foxing mainly to the lower section and edges. The paintwork has expected areas of wear with small areas of chipping to the surround and to the panel. The patination to the paintwork is very appealing and we have lightly waxed the frame to further preserve this patina.

A trumeau mirror is a wall mirror originally manufactured in France in the 18th century. It takes its name from the French word trumeau, which designates the space between windows. In England it is normally known as a 'pier glass'. Trumeau mirrors were originally intended to hang on a wall between windows, providing a decorative element and bringing more light to the room. Most antique trumeau mirrors are highly ornate and often gilded. The mirror is almost always rectangular and sometimes includes a decorative portion at the top, with the mirror below it as this example does.

This particular example is quite unusual, it is almost Queen Anne revival but does not have the shaped shoulders to the arch and its execution is rather primitive, especially to the frame, with a huge amount of ‘gypsy’ charm. Most mirrors of this sort are gilded to the frame when there is a central still life panel present but this one is far more sexy, more overtly boudoir in its overall appearance.

In completely original condition this proves delightfully bohemian.