Framed mirrors were expensive and rare objects for a small elite under the reign of Louis XIV. Hundred years ago elaborately framed mirrors could be found in more than 70 percent of European townhomes. Ultimately, mirrors conquered urban interiors because they offered what such places lacked most - space.
Framed mirrors brighten up and enlarge small rooms. Often placed between two rooms mirrors formed one of the most gracious interior arrangements. The public imagination was not short on decorating ideas engaging mirrors. Women embellished with framed mirrors their salons, sleeping alcoves, offices, stairwells, and dressing areas.
Mirrors were associated with a certain idea of life, a taste of splendor and performance that only certain classes and professions could enjoy. Framed mirrors were a hallmark of social standing, and all beautiful houses had to have them. At the end of eighteen-century, freestanding mirrors had a place of honor in many sitting rooms and became the symbol of an era.
Freestanding mirrors soon became an indispensable beauty aid during the Empire and the Restoration period. The status of the full-length mirrors changed as they became accessible to the population at large. As more commonplace items, framed mirrors blended into a home's interior decor they carved frames become more subdued. The scalloped topes of the framed mirrors emulated the sober moldings of the classical era.