Antiques In Style: Mirrors ~ Reflections of Beauty

French AntiquesThe antique mirror has always held a magical allure that has transformed us, first as the vanity mirror, and later as decorative antique mirrors that infused both depth and drama in every space they were used. “Mirror, mirror on the wall…” read the fairy tale’s pages, as well as illusions performed in magical shows ~ held our endless fascination with the looking glass in our art, literature, décor and even scripture.

Antiques In Style Mirrors Article

Antique Living Room Decor Design

Antiques In Style Mirrors Article 2

“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” -Proverbs 27:19.

History’s first mirrors were probably the mystical reflections that appeared in lakes, rivers and pools of water. Sometimes made from a polished stone and later, metal, mirrors have been used since ancient Greek and Roman times, in the beginning as vanity mirrors which were often hand held, and were perfect objects of the beauty ritual.  The earliest looking glass was likely invented during the first century AD, when a mirror backed with gold leaf was mentioned by Roman writers, but the objects of reflection as we know them today were foremost manufactured in Venice around the 16th century. Venetians protected their proprietary manufacturing process of poured glass backed with an amalgamated blend of tin and mercury.  Not only that, the exportation of the fiercely guarded secret was punishable by death!

Antique French Louis XV Painted Mirror

Inevitably, the monopoly was broken and a wave of mirror manufacturing erupted throughout Europe during the 17th century.  Information can make the difference between success and failure, and so did the Venetian trade secrets that were stolen because artisans and assistants gave in to their desire for riches.  On the other hand, the world was blessed with the birth of new industry.

 

Antique French Louis XVI Gilded MirrorThe energetic French set up their own factories such as Le Manufacture Royale de Glaces de Miroirs (The Royal Glass Factory) which was established by The Minister of Finance Jean-Baptiste Colbert and the first director of the factory was French financier Nicolas du Noyer.  Initially hiring Venetian glassworkers, they began perfecting their techniques by the middle of the 18th century, creating mirrors double and triple previous sizes.  By 1678, the company produced the glass for the legendary Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, commissioned by the Sun  King Louis XIV, which is considered one of the most glamorous and stupendous interiors in the world.

Mirror Arrangement

To find the antique mirrors we import today for our antique stores in Dallas and Baton Rouge, we scour the countryside and cities of France, Italy and other parts of Europe.  It is there we discover endless and dazzling varieties that meet our expectations ~ original gold and silver leaf, condition, glass, etc.  After we find them we carefully crate and wrap these precious historical objects, since their fragile nature requires special protection to make the long arduous voyage across the seas.  This results in antique mirrors that are preserved in pristine condition to be lovingly placed in our clients’ foyers, dining rooms, living rooms and of course halls with mirrors!Mirror Console Room Setting

Stunning Napoleon III Period French Gilded Mirror

These days, antique mirrors have become a pat of an essential function as well as beautiful elements in interior design, adding an often sculptural, always historical perspective to the room, besides their dazzling and captivating quality.  As ancient coveted objects protected in great secrecy and desired by royalty, antique mirrors are meticulously collected and painstakingly protected over the centuries so today we can transform rooms with their seductive magical aura of charm.

Inessa Stewart's Antiques

 

 

 

 

This article appeared in Beverly Drive Magazine. You can find more featured antiques articles on our blog by clicking here.

 

 

 

Welcome to Easter and A Beautiful Springtime!

Antique Letter EngravingIn our antique stores, this spring has inspired us to embrace the new season!  Of course, we love using things antique and vintage to welcome the change of the weather and to give us all the joy and energy to decorate our abodes with holiday finery and trimmings.  If you have not yet been able to come to one of our antique showrooms in Texas and Louisiana, in this blog I have compiled some snapshots and collections of photographs which are full of decorating ideas for celebrating Easter and, of course, how to make your antiques take center stage.

Easterflowers paintings

Bring a touch of Spring to your table with colorful antique place settings, such as these transferware plates, topped with crystal candy dishes as favors for your guests.

easter antiqueseaster antiqueseaster antiques

Vibrant Spring blooms infuse the freshness of the season into your décor, especially when placed in cache pots and jardinières throughout the home ~ emanating the season’s vivid hues that are so welcome after a long and arduous winter.

easter antiqueseaster antiques

Spring décor ushers in freshness with ideas that breeze into your decorating design with such ease.  Take advantage of the delightfully crisp air of the season’s inspiration and embrace these wonderful displays in your daily settings!

Happy Easter!

Inessa Stewart's Antiques

Antiques In Style: Antiques for a Young Home

Antique Letter EngravingWe are often drawn today to antique pieces that show their age – rustic furniture with the refinement of a worn finish or the captivating appeal of artful gildings and patina. We see this glorious past intertwined with the present and the future in many of today’s designs.

Antique Furniture Antiques In Style

Since early age I have been fortunate to be surrounded by glorious and beautiful antique objects that were loved and used in everyday life.  In the past they became very special in the way pieces of vintage or antiquity will become no matter if you inherit them or acquire them over many years during your lifetime.  However, if you are starting out a new home and have discovered the warmth that antiques bring to your life, I want to help you with making your very important first antique decorating decisions.

Antiques Antique Furniture Antique Home

For the sense of history and uniqueness, you can’t beat antique furnishings!  Placing at least one old piece per room adds a layer of visual interest and absolutely makes an interior come to life. The allure of vintage objects also is a way you can connect with treasured pieces of antique furniture.  Antiques touch your very soul as they move into your home and become part of your life.  Such objects have personality, which allows them to create an instant bond when placed in a setting, and in turn can also give your new abode a heart and soul.

When helping with a young couple’s first home, or working with their designer, we are often asked to recommend antique furnishings that are reflective of their personal style.  This helps them to start creating an inviting space with a well-chosen initial item.  A most important part of this process is to choose the right family-friendly statement vintage or antique piece or pieces for each room ~ be it an armoire to serve as entertainment center for the living room, a farm table for the kitchen, or a buffet for the dining room.

Antiques Antique Furniture Antique Home

Your home can embody your personal style, and with the incorporation of important things that have authentic meaning, you can develop your special look, be it a modern European country or a French elegance.  There is an authentic aspect that occurs in each room over time that is utterly charming, as each chosen style flourishes in the young couple’s home.  As they continue their quest in the months and years to come, they capture the history of centuries of refinement and build their ever evolving and one-of-a-kind home – one antique element at a time.

Antique Furniture Antiques In Style

The sense of history that permeates even young antique interiors is demonstrated in the ancestral heritage of its furnishings, and in today’s dwellings our antique furniture is of enduring quality. It has been beautifully constructed and well crafted with a permeating, evocative patina and warmth.  More importantly, antiques are “perfectly imperfect”, ideal for use in a young household because they’re able to withstand decades of use while continuing to maintain their beauty and charm.

Inessa Stewart's Antiques

 

 

 

This article appears in Beverly Drive‘s April issue.

 Inessa Stewart

Antiques in Style is a source of joy for me to create, and hopefully will be a source of inspiration for you! The variety, artistry and history of the antiques and vintage pieces that surround us every day provide pleasure, beauty and sometimes even intrigue.

The classics never go out of style, and each era, country, and even artisan's interpretations create an environment that is always full of surprises.

It is truly a pleasure to bring such timeless style together for every client and follower of my blog. And of course, your input is always welcome!

Featured Antiques on www.Inessa.com

Vintage Rustic Gothic DeskLouis XVI Painted ArmoireAntique Doors with Etched GlassFrench Louis XV Walnut Banquet TableFrench Louis XVI BookcaseProvincial Wrought Iron & Crystal Chandelier

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  • 2014 Antique New Arrivals Jan-June
    These beautiful antiques are truly in a league of their own! www.inessa.com We've received historical antique French commodes, armoires, mirrors and tables from the 18th and 19th centuries. Fine antique hand-carved ornamentation and traditional joinery complement the beautiful old wood patina and rustic timeworn surfaces. Mix and match to your heart's delight and create a striking new look for your home’s interiors! So please take a peek at our latest and greatest antique finds, and snap up some old treasures at great prices! And as always, our vintage and antique items are first-come, first-serve. So if you see something you love, make sure to let us know right away! Contact ~ john@inessa.com
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