Produced in France during the 1800’s, this Empire style trumeau mirror has been painted in gris trianon. Gris trianon is a color invented in the 18th century under Louis XVI. The color was first used on furniture made for Marie Antoinette at her chateau, Petit Trianon, in Versailles. The green-gray wood is rechampi (contrasted) with gilded neo-classical carvings.
Empire coincided with the rule of Napoleon, who favored a neo-classical style because they reflected his achievements and goals. Napoleon admired Egyptian antiquity because he had successful campaigns there and his desire for military prowess gave him an appreciation of the culture of the Roman Empire.
A concave cavetto molding, known as an “Egyptian cornice” runs across the top of the trumeau. The cornice is adorned with a repeating pattern of lotus flowers, which were worshipped in ancient Egypt as symbols of creation. The same décor can be seen on the molding above the arch of the mirror, as well as on a pair of cornices that flank the glass where the arch begins. The spandrels above the arch have a pair of winged supporters that represent the Roman goddess, Victoria, also known as Victory. Victory is almost always seen holding a wreath (as she is here), ready to crown a champion.
Near the base, the mirror is flanked by two fluted carvings wrapped in spiraling ribbons and adorned with acanthus leaves and florets. The one on the left depicts a torch with vertical fluting, while the column on the right is a quiver of arrows with diagonal fluting, both of which reflect a Roman influence. Other Roman characteristics include a pair of large acroteria (palmettes) beneath a row of repeating anthemion and lotus flowers, as well as the horizontal margents at the top with central florets that terminate in acroteria. The beaded vases on either side of the Victory supporters have tall arrangements of laurel wreath and lotus leaves.
Our French Empire style trumeau mirror from the 19th century will make a grand statement on any wall. The classical style and soft gray coloration with gilt motifs are compatible and complimentary to a wide range of interiors.
CONDITION: Good condition commensurate to age and use with rubs and age separations. Minor losses to paint and gilding. Please see photos for details. The mirror has been replaced at some time. There is a 1 inch board affixed to the back for hanging purposes that is not included in the measurements below.