By John Linden
Interior design, furniture design, lover of all things chic in home decor.
Trumeau mirrors are a special type of wall mirror that you will see in nearly ever chic Parisian apartment. They hail from the 18th century and were hung in aristocratic residences throughout Europe.
This article will give you a little glimpse into the history of these mirrors along with a guide to finding them today.
Ready? Let’s go!
What is a Trumeau Mirror?
Trumeau mirrors are mirrors set into long, wooden frames. Usually, these framed are ornately carved, painted, or decorated in some other way.
Sometimes, these mirrors are built directly into the wall of the house and then have a frame placed around them. For the most part, though, they’re modular decorations with a thicker frame than your average mirror.
Because of the history of trumeau mirrors, they tend to come in intricate, Victorian-style frames. So, they’re definitely not for everyone. The frames are often very detailed, so they’re not exactly popular among the mid-century modern crowd. But, if you’re a fan of slightly more detailed decorations, a trumeau mirror might be what you need.
It’s an elongated rectangle shape, framed with a faux-wooden border. At the top, the frame has a floral pattern “carved” into it.
Usually, real trumeaus can run on the expensive side. They’re gorgeous, so if you have the means to buy one, go for it. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, though, both Walmart and Target have some great trumeaus for your home.
If you are not looking to save, Check out 1st Dibs’ excellent collection of antiqued trumeau mirrors.
History of Trumeau Mirrors
The tradition of these mirrors dates back to the earliest days of mirrored glass. Back then, the average person did not have access to mirrors. Imagine that…these days, most people can’t walk down the street without checking themselves out. Because mirrored glass was so expensive at that time, the royal people who owned them wanted to show them off. Oftentimes, royal families would have large panels of mirrored glass built directly into the walls of their homes.
At the time, the trumeau mirrors served two purposes. As pointed out above, the mirror enabled the owner to put their wealth on display. Secondly, however, framing the mirror helped to prevent it from breaking. If the mirror were to slip off the wall, it had a better chance of surviving the fall. Framed mirrors, specifically trumeaus were later adopted by the middle and upper-middle classes as they accumulated more wealth. Over time, mirrored glass become more common and less costly. The rich middle class liked to remind themselves of their wealth by owning ornate mirrors like the King.
This 19th-century trumeau was found on Pinterest. As you can see, it has an oil painting, rendered on a gessoed panel, framed above the mirror. This was a common practice at the time.
Some of our favorite Trumeau Mirrors
Where to find reproduction Trumeau mirrors
Looking for the perfect Trumeau but don’t want to break the bank? No worries! There are a ton of reproductions out there. These are almost always less expensive than originals, so get yourself a great mirror without having to spend too much cash.
These sites all carry amazing reproductions…
1. Crow Colony
This antique dealer specializes in authentic pieces. But, they get a lot of reproductions, too. If you’re looking for something specific, give them a call to see if they can find what you need. Or, just browse through their catalog until you bump into something you like.
2. Cottage Chic
Cottagechic carries a ton of reproduction Trumeau mirrors. Some of their stuff is a bit pricey, but they have a lot of deals, as well. You may have to wait until they get something in your price range, but something will eventually come your way.
Honestly, Chairish is one of the best resources for aspiring antique collectors. Their prices are fair and their inventory is amazing. They’re sure to have the Trumeau you’re looking for.
Wrapping Up on Trumeau Mirrors
Trumeau mirrors are just a small part of our mirror expertise and collection. If you are interested in a custom mirror for your home, MirrorCoop hand building unique, artistic wall mirrors. You can see our entire collection here.
If you have a specific question, please reach out at email@example.com to email me directly.