Art Deco Mirrors
3 mins read

Art Deco Mirrors

Art Deco mirrors make a great statement in a room and add lots of light. The most typical mirrors of the period are the bevelled edge mirrors in various unusual shapes that are still widely available today in antique shops and auctions. I have a couple of these and they look great in any room. Lovely in a bedroom or dining room, or in the entrance hall to check your lipstick as you go in and out of your home.

Cheval mirrors, which were also called psyches, were very popular in the 1920s and 30s. I’m not sure of the history of the name, but it presumably refers to Psyche and Cupid and mirrors to the soul! These were the free-standing, full length mirrors on a wooden stand.

Art Deco psyche mirrors were made by all the most famous designers such as Jacques Emile Ruhlmann, and there is a really superb example by Leleu which appears in many books, including the new Art Deco Complete: The Definitive Guide to the Decorative Arts of the 1920s and 1930s
These beautiful Art Deco mirrors often used high quality woods such as mahogany or amboyna, and were very highly polished.

Gorgeous mirrors also appear on Art Deco dressing tables, and sometimes these are sold separately. Mirrors were often decorated with engraved geometric designs or figural animals such as the antelope or fish.

There are also hand mirrors which were very popular with the flappers. If they were not incorporated into a compact, you can be sure they would have a mirror on their dressing table or a small one in their handbag or purse. Many were made of Bakelite, Celluloid or Xylonite.

It began in 1920s Paris, where some of the most luxurious and over the top furniture and décor was produced. No expense was spared on materials. The 1920s saw the rise of the “artiste décorateur”, often artists or architects who became all round interior designers who would be engaged by the wealthy to oversee the design of their entire apartments or houses.

Another of memorable proponent of Art Deco interior design was Paul Poiret, who is better known as a couture fashion designer. He founded a workshop called “Atelier Martine” where he employed street girls who went out painting flowers which he used in designs for fabrics, textiles, furniture and whole interiors. Poiret displayed his interior design work on three barges on the Seine at the Paris Expo in 1925.

Later, in the 1930s more modern influences were at work, and Art Deco interior design became more widely available with the advent of cheaper materials and mass production. Some of the modernist designs such as tubular chairs have become design classics and have been reproduced to this day.

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