'Florence' mirror

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  • Literature

    Patrick Mauriès, Line Vautrin: Miroirs, exh. cat., Galerie Chastel-Maréchal, Paris, 2004, p. 31

  • Catalogue Essay

    Combining refined craftsmanship with wit and imagination, Vautrin’s ‘Florence’ mirror comprises multiple layers of cellulose acetate – a new material she later coined ‘Talosel’ – which the designer expressively carved, moulded and encrusted with multi-coloured mirrored glass. The composition formed from the glass pieces, fragmented and reflective, creates a rhythmic pattern – a direct result of Vautrin’s impulse to handcraft her materials. The rectangular form of the present lot is less frequently seen among Vautrin’s mirror designs; nevertheless, the designer executed a version of the ‘Florence’ mirror for her own interior.

  • Artist Bio

    Line Vautrin

    French • 1913 - 1997

    After brief stints with the couturier Elsa Schiaparelli and a Parisian photography firm, Line Vautrin taught herself metal foundry, which had been her father's trade, and went door-to-door selling her cast jewelry. In 1937 she rented a stand at the Paris International Exposition that attracted enough clientele for her to open a shop in the Rue de Berri. As business improved, she moved to the more fashionable Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Vautrin started out making jewelry, belts, powder compacts and buttons: At the time, the term for her line of work was parurière (one who makes and sells fashion accessories).

    Eventually, however, she hit on her signature style, developing a material she coined talosel, which comprised layers of cellulose acetate that she carved, gouged, molded and encrusted with colored mirrored glass. This new material enabled her to expand her repertoire to include larger objects such as the mirrors for which she is best known today. The objects that she created in talosel are unlike any others — original, exuberant modern designs that, with the accretions and texture of the scarified talosel, carry the aura of ancient, time-worn relics. Vautrin credited the London art dealer David Gill with re-discovering her work at a 1986 auction of her property in Paris. Her work entered the collection of London's Victoria and Albert Museum, and since then has gained major traction in the twentieth-century design market.

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'Florence' mirror

circa 1958
Talosel resin, coloured mirrored glass, mirrored glass.
81.3 x 67.3 x 5.1 cm (32 x 26 1/2 x 2 in.)
Reverse incised and impressed LINE VAUTRIN/ROI.

£50,000 - 70,000 

sold for £56,250

Contact Specialist
Madalena Horta e Costa
Head of Sale
+44 20 7318 4019

Important Design

London Auction 26 April 2018