by Posted On

My very favorite mirror above a fireplace or console is a “trumeau”!

A “trumeau” either has a painted scene or some lovely carving.

 They were always part of the “boiserie”  (paneling) in a french house; and are very popular here, especially

in ” French” houses!

This is what I do know!  I LOVE “trumeaus”!!

Our house in Pasadena……..had three trumeaus in the living room!

 During the eighteenth century , many rooms were paneled with “boiserie” carved and painted.

Above the fireplaces and over consoles they often had a mirror included in the paneling to increase the light.

“Because lighting an interior was a great challenge during this period the use of highly reflective

mirror glass was an integral part of any room. During the reign of Louis XV (1723-1774) and Louis XVI (1774-1792) large mirror plates

were actually placed within the framework of the walls and

 mounted above fireplaces and console tables with candelabra and candlesticks placed in front of them to reflect the light.”

When we were building our house;  I was on a decorating trip to New Orleans with Sotheby’s and I

discovered a pair of “trumeau” mirrors with two different scenes!

I had never seen that before!

Because we were building a “big hall” with two fireplaces , I made an “emergency” call

to my husband!

Happily, we bought them , and they are a delightful part of our “big hall”!

They had two delightful scenes of children playing and even a dog that looked like our dog, Georgie!

 We had a lovely French house in Pasadena, which had  four beautiful trumeaus!

Here is the one that was over the fireplace in the living room

This is looking the other direction towards the dining room   a pair of consoles with trumeaus.

This console was in in the dining room.

This console and mirror were in the entry hall!

The lady who built  our house  in 1957 went to France with her architect to buy these antiques to incorporate into the French “pavilion” she was building!

I am showing examples of others I’ve found!

Pair of Louis XV Style Trumeaux. Ca: 19th C

13 thoughts on “Trumeau

  1. Thoughts on Design

    Spectacular!!!! WOW!!! How perfectly you integrated them into your home! A trumeau mirror surly elevates the sophistication of a room!


  2. Kathy Avakian

    Facinating post on the “trumeau” Penny! I could probably never afford one but I think they are super cool and beautiful. Love the history you put in there about them and I bet ya anything Marie Antoinette had one or two in her Petit Trianon! They are like time portals that give us a glimpse to the opulence and glory that was France.

  3. Garden, Home and Party

    What lovely mirrors and its nice to read the history.

  4. Pamela

    They are lovely!
    And they add such charm to a room.

  5. Heather in Arles

    Penelope, this was so lovely. Might I add that I never see such fine trumeau’s here in the South of France anymore, not even at the professional shows or deballages. What am I doing at the professional shows, you might ask, well, a girl can dream can’t she?!

    1. penelopebi

      Oh! That is heartbreaking! Have you seen many rooms with their original “boiseries”? I believe in going to the professional shows! It is a great way to “educate your eye”! One never knows what one may stumble upon. I have been very lucky to have found many things that people who inherited them did not value; and to pay a dealer a fraction of their worth! Keep your eyes peeled!

  6. Susan

    These Trumeau’s are so exquisite, they’re fantastic & it’s so great the knowledge you have to share, Penny…..thank you!!!

  7. Karena

    Penny I have a Trumeau mirror in gilded gold with an urn, acanthus leaf and medallion motif!

    Gorgeous examples!!
    Art by Karena
    2012 Artist Series

    1. penelopebi

      Oh Bravo! Lots of people don’t know what or why or whatever about them!

      How wonderful!
      We just saw the best movie!! “The Intouchables”!

      A wonderful, wonderful movie! I may have to see it again!! I was studying the “boiseries” and the trumeaus the entire time! Sheesh! What a gorgeous location in Paris!

      But back to Heather’s comment… very favorite trumeaus are from Provence. I am hoping they are “staying on the walls in the paneling”

      She will keep us posted! Please Heather!

  8. Splendid Market

    What a beautiful home and beautiful trumeaus. Thank you for both the tour and the tutorial.

  9. vignette design

    I’ve always wanted a trumeau, especially now after seeing your post!
    They are so lovely. Someday….!

  10. Trumeau Mirror Love | Smart Kitchen Cabinets

    […] Via McCormick Interiors […]

  11. Trumeau Mirror Love | Smart Kitchen Cabinets

    […] Via McCormick Interiors […]

Leave a Reply

Gallery  -    Blog  - Press -  Contact