Happpy New Year!! Without a doubt, I feel that 2015 will be my year of learning, perseverance, experimentation (on the blog), and hopefully lots of fun! My love for design and interiors runs deep, and I always am interested to learn the history or inspiration behind an iconic design. I recently came across an article from Houzz on the history of the ever-popular Sunburst Mirror.
The sunburst as a decorative motif may have its roots in the halos surrounding figures in medieval religious art. During the 17th century, the Catholic church began using elaborate monstrances — decorative stands used to display the communion wafer — adorned with gilded rays. Churches in Italy (most famously St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome) often had gilded sunbursts above the altar.
Early mirrors were small and convex; it wasn’t until the late 17th century, when Louis XIV established his own glassworks in France, that the world saw a significant improvement in the quality and size of mirrors.
But even then, mirrors of any kind were rarities — antiques expert Judith Miller notes in her book Furniture that a 40- by 36-inch mirror sold at the end of the 17th century would have cost the equivalent of $36,000 today!
Antiques dealer William Bloomfield, of Jacqueline Adams Antiques in Atlanta, says early sunburst mirrors were often used in churches as symbols of God overlooking the parishioners.
Until next time.