Marie Antoinette

“Mirror mirror on the wall.
Who is the Fairest of Them All?”

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A mirror will always be an object that evokes supreme beauty. There is an immense mysticism behind it. Anyone who faces a mirror can be tempted to contemplate it eternally, like a vice. After facing a mirror one is enchanted and brought to a world where beauty lies, where allure and dreams will reflect the intended reality from who contemplates it. Time stops and there is only space for contemplation. That is when a mirror becomes a coveted object, but simultaneously dangerous for the temptation it provokes in the observer. An object that causes such a blind fascination and whoever founds it might become a prisoner from the moorings of the real world, forever. It can be a forbidden object, however it is common and immensely coveted.

There is a powerful symbolism and strong mythology regarding mirrors. Somebody who used to gaze at his own reflection on the water would lose his soul in the process. Therefore Narcissus, who was in love with his own reflection, was doomed.

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Nowadays, looking into a mirror – whether it’s a fancy gold-framed one or a simple reflection in a pond – is all about seeing yourself. You have to take a long, hard look at what you are as a person – about the way you have been treating others around you, about the way you have been taking care of yourself. Mirrors are about seeing yourself the way you truly are – not the way you pretend to be. It’s about being completely honest with yourself about your world, and learning to accept that and deal with it.

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Note that as much as mirrors represent a true soul searching, there are some out there who are so vain that they only see the outside, shallow representation of fleeting beauty. If your dream involves someone being vain in front of a mirror, it is showing that they don’t understand the real importance of life. All they see is the hair and face, which will be aged in just a few years. And this reminds us Handel’s stunning opera The Triumph of Time and Truth, composed during the wonderful Baroque period. Triumph is an allegory rather than a drama and its five characters are Beauty, a victim of a battle between Pleasure and Truth. Time and Deceit are the other two characters. Time is supreme and will only be respected by the wise, by those who don’t get blind from superficial reflections in the mirror.

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Since the XVI century mirrors have been triumphant not only in the house, but also in architecture. In the extravagant halls of baroque and rococo palaces it has been one of the principal element of furnishings.

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Two centuries later, Marie Antoinette used to live in these exuberant palaces, at Le Chateaux of Versailles, and she represents our inspiration for the creation of this large-scale wall mirror. Marie Antoinette mirror is an attitude, an historical fact and a “époque”. Inspired in the controversy Marie Antoinette and in the greatest times of the French royalty, where impressive and large-scale pieces marked the halls of Palace of Versailles and its big and luxurious parties. This mirror, capable to enhance any living room or lobby of nowadays, has 2,20m of grandiosity hand carved and covered by silver leaf with high gloss varnish finish.

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Carving is one of the techniques used to create this monumental piece. Carving is a sculptural technique in which wood is carved and in Portugal, it is one of the most original artistic expressions. This technique is commonly found in Portuguese ancient churches and cathedrals interiors, as well as it is part of some breathtaking luxurious salons from noble palaces and monumental public buildings. This technique, mainly associated with the architectural world, had a period of great application in the Iberian Peninsula and their colonies during the Baroque. In Portugal, the evolution of this technique had a very interesting journey. It began during the Gothic Period following its architectural models, as well as sculpture and jewelry. It was deeply developed during the Renaissance and during the Neoclassicism, this fine technique looses its great quality since there weren’t much churches and remarkable buildings created during this period.

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This technique became one of the main impressions of the baroque in the North of Portugal, along with hand painted tiles, during the VXII and XVIII centuries. At this time, to order carved objects it was necessary the work of several artisans commanded by a master.

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Boca do Lobo works with artisans of the past that make those spectacular decorative twist finials found on Marie Antoinette. We recovered this particular ancestral technique through our excellent artisans, accomplished cabinetmakers and highly skilled carver hand made these flamboyant furniture elements. It’s a technique that can be used to carve spirals in any of our wood project, be it a finial or even a twisted table leg.

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As Sophia Coppola wanted to honor one of the most fascinating figures in the history of Versailles by writing and directing Marie Antoinette in 2006, Boca do Lobo pays a special tribute to her great unbeatable spirit and unique personality by creating this outstanding exclusive wall mirror.

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