Flickr Widget

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The mirrors of Line Vautrin

Line Vautrin (1913-1997) was a French metal artist and designer. She was born to a family of metal workers and began learning the family business in her teens. She received no formal education in art or design, but by age 15, she was already selling her gilt bronze costume jewelry.

She took a job at the House of Schiaparelli, where it was her job to open the door and greet customers. She decided after only four days that working for a boss, even a famous couturier, was not for her, so she started selling her designs door-to-door.

In 1937 she rented a booth at the Universal Exhibition and showed bronze buttons, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, belt buckles and bag clips. The next year, at age 28, she opened her first boutique near the Champs-Elysées.

In the early 1940s, she began to create bronze boxes, powder compacts, ashtrays and pillboxes. During this same time, she married Jacques-Armand Bonnaud, a talented artist and decorator who had graduated from the Beaux Arts in Paris. Together they bought and renovated a beautiful home which became one of the most fashionable venues in the city.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Vautrin became interested in new materials, primarily cellulose acetate, which she called Talosel, and synthetic resin, which she encrusted with mirrored glass. It was at this time that she began creating beautiful convex mirrors, most notably large sunburst designs. She called these mirrors her "witches," and sold them to celebrities such as Ingrid Bergman, Yul Brynner and Brigitte Bardot.

When she was 50, she left manufacturing and the retail business and began teaching.

Because her body of work is so large, I'm going to focus on her mirrors in this post, although the photos I include represent just a few of many. I will post at a later date about her dramatic jewelry and boxes.

From and

Aldebaran mirror

Colbert mirror

Ètincelle mirror

Ombelle mirror

Roi Soleil mirror

Satellites mirror

Sequins mirror

Soucis mirror

Soleil Torsade mirror


  1. they are just breathtaking Dana, Ive never seen anything like them here...and unlikely too :(

    1. I've never seen one either. Wouldn't it be the find of a lifetime to stumble upon one of them at a thrift store?

  2. Oh my goodness, how sublime!!! They're breathtaking! How wonderful to have some background on these, Dana, every woman should have one, right? If her mirrors are as gorgeous as these, I can't wait to see the jewellery!

    1. I just finished the post about her jewelry, accessories and boxes and scheduled it for about two weeks out. I think you'll be amazed at how current they look.

  3. Stunning! I adore the Colbert, Roi Soleil, and the Sequins mirriors. Such style!

    1. I could picture the Sequins one on the wall of Pontipee Hall!!! One sold at Christies for $18,750 in 2011. You'd better keep your eyes peeled every time you go thrifting, because there's no telling what treasures rich Texas oilmen had imported for their homes in the 50s and 60s!!! Wouldn't you just about keel over if you ran across one of these at a flea market???

  4. All gorgeous, Dana! We've been infatuated with reproductions for the last few years. It would be incredible to stumble upon the real deal. My favs are the Satellite, Ombelle and Sequins.
    Thanks for the share...I always learn something here.

    1. Ok to share on FB? I did...let me know if I shouldn't have. xo

    2. That's perfectly fine. I'm glad you enjoyed the post enough to share it.