Furniture from the Louis XVI period was characterized as graceful pieces, often embellished with neoclassical motifs. Neoclassicism was a movement that featured decoration inspired by ancient architecture, specifically buildings from Rome and Greece. This oak trumeau mirror incorporates several classical motifs including its overall rectilinear form, and large fluted columns. A crinkled ribbon crowns a very unique and whimsical arrangement of gardening inspired motifs.
Because it is difficult to carve, oak was not the preferred wood of Louis XVI craftsmen. Carving such detail from oak takes more time, patience, and skill. However, because it is a sturdy wood, oak was often used for framing, as is the case with our trumeau mirror, hand-carved in France in the 1800’s. The 39 ½” H x 25 ¼” W mirror is surrounded by a repeating lunette pattern, followed by a layer of spiral fluting. Similar décor borders the ornate gardening cartouche above the glass. The richly hand-carved image depicts a wicker basket overflowing with fruit. Some horticultural tools, such as a water pail and a crossed shovel and hoe, can be seen amongst the surrounding vegetation. At the very top is a large, crinkled ribbon tied neatly in a bow.
Flanking both the mirror and the cartouche are a pair of Ionic order columns with chandelle fluting topped by floral margents. Each column capital has volute scrolls that encircle egg and dart above bead and reel motifs, both of which have Neoclassical origins. The carvings were most likely inspired by the columns of Erechtheion, a Greek temple dedicated to Athena and built in 430 BC. The clean lines and natural color of this oak Louis XVI style trumeau mirror coupled with such interesting gardening motifs make this a truly unique French trumeau.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with wear commensurate to age and use, including minor losses to wood and age separations. Light loss of silvering to mirror. Please see photos for detail.