‘Miroirs Soleil’ A pair of Monumental Carved Giltwood Sunburst Mirrors
A Pair of Carved Giltwood Sunburst Mirrors. These mirrors of spectacular scale are composed of three concentric tiers of rays in carved wood with gold...
DimensionsHeight: 180 cm (71 in)
Depth: 14 cm (6 in)
A Pair of Carved Giltwood Sunburst Mirrors.
These mirrors of spectacular scale are composed of three concentric tiers of rays in carved wood with gold leaf, radiating out from a central circular mirror plate encircled by a band carved and gilt to resemble a rope. The finesse of the construction is evident in that each ray is carved from a separate board, each placed atop and alongside one another to create a sunburst effect of sculpture depth.
France, first half 20th century.
The sunburst as a decorative motif has its origins in religious art as a halo to Christ or Saintly figures. Architecturally it was employed to great effect above altars such as St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. Drawing an analogy with Apollo, King Louis XIV of France styled himself ‘The Sun King’ and adopted as his emblem a mask surrounded by radiating sun rays.
Placing a mirror at the centre is a novel way of glorifying the subject’s pre-eminence. In the twentieth century the French jewellery maker, designer, and decorative artist Line Vautrin (1913-1997) produced iconic sunburst mirrors. The proportions of these mirrors, and that they are a pair, make them unique and they likely date to the 1950s from the height of Vautrin’s creative period, but given the skill evident in their complex construction could be slightly earlier in date.
First half 20th century.