Decorating With French Trumeau Mirrors

Trumeau mirrors were originally manufactured in France in the 18th century. A decorative art form of uncommon quality, French furniture crafted during the eighteenth century (Louis XIII – Louis XVI) has long been praised as the epitome of elegance and fine craftsmanship. A centerpiece of the eighteenth century interior was the trumeau – a long mirror set into paneling and topped with a painting or carved motif. This form was primarily decorative but it was also functional because of the mirror’s reflective quality.  

 Trumeau mirrors are  wall mirrors set in a decorative frame that often features a painted or carved panel under or above the mirror, 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.It takes its name from the French word trumeau. In architecture, a trumeau resided between two doorways as a structural support. Trumeau mirrors are something quite different.Their larger size can easily support the design of a room just fine on its own as well as over a piece of furniture.

The mirror is almost always rectangular and sometimes includes a decorative portion at the top, with the mirror below it. Those designed to be placed above a mantelpiece, rather than between windows, could have candles placed in front of the mirror to increase ambient light. Usually always hung on walls the trumeau is now seen in interiors in their free standing state. Leaned against a wall, they have become attractive additions to home décor. 

Many trumeau mirrors feature a French pastoral painting or cherubim similar to this one.

The word trumeau was first used to describe a mirror on that section of wall in the early 1700s.

The trumeau mirror gained popularity among the growing upper-middle class, who were looking to emulate the wall-paneled aristocracy.

A trumeau mirror of Neoclassic form.

A trumeau mirror in the bath adds so much glamour!

Most antique trumeau mirrors are highly ornate and often gilded.

Flip through almost any home decor magazine and chances are you'll see at least one trumeau mirror.

Every home benefits from a beautiful trumeau 

Antique French Louis XVI blue trumeau mirror

I have one in a corner of my home that I bought in an antique store YEARS ago.

Classically-inspired motifs like acanthus leaves, scrolls and garlands, and ribbons were used to decorate trumeau mirrors in the late-18th and early-19th century.

Stunning French antique trumeau.

I love the fluted pilasters featured prominently on this trumeau.

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This blog post was published by
Lisa Farmer

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