Antique French Louis Philippe Pareclose Mirror, circa 1890

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The elegant profile of this antique French mirror lies in the tall and slender proportions that immediately draw the eye to its various elements. The shimmer of the gold leaf finish complements the original mirror glass with its customary shading and foxing that gives antique mirror its wonderful allure. Please begin with the cartouche at the top of the mirror as it features a handsome Régence style combination of a bold scallop shell set within an architectural framework. This motif came into fashion toward the end of the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715) and continued during the Régence period (1715-1723) when Louis XV was too young to assume the throne. Notice the lovely balance and symmetry that extends across the top of the frame with its scrolls and flourishes repeated on each side of the cartouche. The broad arch at the top of the mirror gives a visual focus and importance to the cartouche and this is echoed by the shape of the mirror. The outer gold leaf frame is a potent ribbon twist pattern that continues in an unbroken line around the entire perimetre. The depth of the pattern gives a wonderful shadow effect as light plays across the surface bouncing off the gold leaf and leaving the recessed sections in darkness. The inner mirror frame is defined by a series of continuous beading known as "les perles" because of its resemblance to a strand of matched natural pearls. Pearls have always been a symbol of matchless wealth and splendor as they are the only precious jewel that occurs naturally. The time and effort necessary to acquire a strand of pearls has always been extraordinary and signified great power. Please look at the separate pieces of mirror glass that give this mirror its large size. The central mirror plate is surrounded by six individual mirrors and all of them have a beveled edge. This technique of arranging separate mirrors is known as "à pareclose" and was used before the technology of making large single sheets of mirror glass became feasible. The most famous example of course is the "Hall of Mirrors" at Versailles where the marvelous expanse of wall covered in mirrors was a dazzling display of French power when unveiled in the late 1700's. The smaller sections of the frame in the four corners and the middle of the sides joining the inner and outer frames are not only decorative additions but also serve to hide the area where the separate mirror edges meet in order to create a seamless expanse of reflection. Measures: 40" W x 68 1/2" H.

Details

  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use
  • Dimensions
    5 ft. 8.5 in. H x 40 in. W x 5 in. D
    174 cm H x 102 cm W x 13 cm D
  • Seller Location
    Houston, TX
  • Number of Items
    1
  • Reference Number
    LU86684831353
About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2009

Typical response time: 1 hour

Located in Houston, TX

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