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Mirror styles

Mirror Styles

The majority of the Senate's mirror collection may be grouped into three 19th-century revival styles: Rococo, Neoclassical, and Renaissance. To view more examples of these styles see the online collection list of mirrors.

Rococo Revival

Mirror, Rococo Revival

Approximately one-third of the frames in the Senate Collection are Rococo Revival. Typically this group displays a wide-arched, ornate crest embellished with bold S- and C-scrolls, and foliage surrounding a large center cartouche, or crest. Another common configuration has a wide-arched crest with double S-scrolls enclosing an undulating line of oval cartouches that extends horizontally and flanks the center cartouche. Common cartouche themes found in the Senate Collection include: naturalistic forms—morning glories, shells, cupids, and female heads; patriotic themes—flags, eagles, and U.S. shields; or plain ornament formed by C-scrolls. Contrasting these crests, the frames have rather plain side and bottom profiles.

Neoclassical Revival

Mirror, Neoclassical Revival

The Neoclassical style is the second most common mirror type found in the Senate Collection. The top profile is a classical entablature composed of a cornice, frieze, and architrave, and the sides show plain or fluted columns. Classical ornaments decorate the frames, including cloth and floral swags, and bands of eggs-and-darts, beads, dentils, or scrolling flowers.

Renaissance Revival

Mirror, Renaissance Revival

Ten mirror frames fall within the Renaissance Revival group, four of which have integral window cornices that attach to the side of the mirror frames. Three of the Renaissance mirrors were purchased specifically for the President's Room. All frames of this style have a projecting block or stepped cornice with numerous bands of ornaments on a textured background, with center cartouches and side pendants; creating a rich display of ornamentation.