French Empire Period circa 1800 Mirror
Early 19th century French mirror with its original paint, foxed mercury back plate and original backboards with a concave frieze top with relief gesso mouldings with a central rosette flanked by anthemia and vine mouldings to the inner mirror frame
Anthemion (pl. Anthemia) has its origin from the Greek word Anthos - a little flower. Initially developed by the Greeks from the Egyptian and Asiatic form known as the honeysuckle or lotus palmette it is a floral design consisting of a number of radiating petals and was widely used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to embellish various forms within architecture and general decoration.
The Greeks originally only decorated pottery with the motif, but they soon adapted it to ornament architecture. The single-palmette form appears on acroteria (decorative pedestals), antefixes (roof or cornice elements), and the top of vertical stelae. The continuous pattern of alternating lotus and palmette springing from connecting spirals decorates especially the cyma recta moulding of the cornice.