Good quality carved gilt wood French trumeau mirror, the frame with carved birds in oak leaf foliage. Formally part of a panelled room, provenance: Pont-à-Mousson, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France
Trumeau, in architecture, is the central pillar or mullion supporting the tympanum of a large doorway, commonly found in medieval buildings. It is often sculpted. The French trumeau mirror was designed to hang against a trumeau.
A trumeau mirror is a wall mirror originally manufactured in France in the 18th century. It takes its name from the French word trumeau, which designates the space between windows. In England it is normally known as a ‘pier glass‘.
Trumeau mirrors were originally intended to hang on a wall between windows, providing a decorative element and bringing more light to the room. Most antique trumeau mirrors are highly ornate and often gilded.
The mirror is almost always rectangular and sometimes includes a decorative portion at the top, with the mirror below it. Those designed to be placed above a mantelpiece, rather than between windows, could have candles placed in front of the mirror to increase ambient light.
Reproductions of 18th-century trumeau mirrors became popular in the Regency period