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Saturday, August 29, 2015

The mirrors of Line Vautrin (Repost)

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

(Technical issues resulted in search engine problems for almost two years' worth of my older posts, so I am reposting the ones I consider most informative. Though some of you have already viewed them, they will be new to others of you. Originally posted 9/29/2013)

Aldebaran mirror

Colbert mirror

Ètincelle mirror

Ombelle mirror

Roi Soleil mirror

Satellites mirror

Sequins mirror

Soucis mirror

Soleil Torsade mirror


  1. Thank you for reposting this. I remember seeing it but I didn't take the time to visit the website until today. The detail photos of these pieces are just gorgeous and I very much enjoyed reading her full bio and photo album. What a body of amazing work!