Tuesday, February 28, 2012

French Trumeau Mirrors

Flip through almost any home decor magazine and chances are you'll see at least one French trumeau mirror. Trumeau mirrors are usually so gorgeous and ornate. Put one in a room and it will immediately become the bell of the ball, reducing everything else in the room to just something for the mirror to reflect!

The trumeau mirror was originally manufactured in France in the 18th century. The French word "trumeau" refers to the wall space between windows. Hung on the wall, the Trumeau was designed to add both beauty and brightness to the room. By day the mirror would reflect sunlight throughout the room and at night it would reflect candle light. Candle holders were placed either in front of the mirror or hung on the wall on either side of the mirror.  Some earlier trumeaus were even designed with gilded candle holders attached to either the bottom portion or sides of the frame. These are rarer, thus harder to find.

Trumeaus were almost always painted, rectangular in shape and heavily gilded. The lower half or two-thirds of the frame would contain the mirror and the upper portion was either decorated with ornate gilding or an oil on canvas hand-painted scene.

A reproduction Trumeau Mirror in my previous home in Charleston, West Virginia. I took this picture to show the detail of the mirror and ended up loving the picture because of how it captured the other items in the room.

This mirror was purchased at the Scott's Antique Market outside of Atlanta.

 This picture gives you an idea of the size of this reproduction Trumeau. My ceilings in this home were 8 foot so I rested the mirror on the floor instead of hanging it on the wall.  

Beautiful late 17th Century Trumeau in the home of Arizona designer Christopher Coffin.
(Traditional Home Magazine, September 2007)

French blue antique Trumeau Mirror in Richmond, Virginia home designed by Suellen Gregory.
(Beautiful Southern Homes Magazine Fall/Winter 2007)

Beautiful antique French gilded trumeau with painted scene.
(Country French Magazine)

This image from Veranda Magazine combines two of my favorite docrative items - trumeau mirrors and gilded sunburst design!

Beautiful French grey trumeau mirror. I love, love, love the mirror, chest and chair!

Antique trumeau mirrors are relatively easy to find and there are so many gorgeous ones from which to choose. Unfortunately, the price tags are pretty steep for the true antique ones. I searched on-line and found antique trumeaus priced anywhere from $2,000 on up. There are some gorgeous reproductions available also if you are wanting the dramatic impact of a trumeau mirror and can do without the pedigree!

Au revoir, Mitty


  1. Beautiful post! Check out my blog on 3/5/12 as I nominated you for a blog award!

  2. Alicia, THANK YOU so much! Although I've been "blogging away" for a little less than a year now, I still don't really know much about the blogosphere and all of the awards. I will check this out and, again, thank you so much. Coming from you and your beautiful blog, I take this as a great compliment.

  3. Loving some of the furniture too in those pics!Fiona

  4. I'm obviously not the only one with a passion for the French trumeau style. I have scoured France and collected rare and beautiful enrichments which I have now been able to reproduce in my own trumeau designs. Let me know what you think. Andrew www.classicandchic.co.uk