Thursday, August 30, 2007

Low to High: Sunburst Mirrors

Sunburst mirrors are showing up all over the place lately. (Are they part of Becky's "Trendy Objects Drinking Game" over on Hatch? If not, they should be.) And for good reason -- they add instant drama, a touch of sophisticated swank, and undeniable fabulousness to your space.

But like many pieces of popular decor, there are literally dozens of variations available at a startling array of price points: everything from relatively small and spare versions that you can find at your local mall store to substantial, pristine antiques that will set you back several thousand dollars.

Let's take a look at the options and weigh their relative merits:

West Elm Convex Star Mirror, $49: This is definitely affordable and has a clean, modern sensibility -- but it seems a bit small (it's not quite two feet across), spindly, and sad compared to the others here.

Solare Mirror from Ballard Designs, $119: A nice size (three feet in diameter) at a great price.

Z Gallerie Prague Mirror, $139: A simplified contemporary take on the sunburst shape, this is well-priced and has presence -- but also strikes me as a bit generic.

Starburst Mirror from Crate & Barrel, $199: This 30-inch model alludes to the metal wall sculptures that were popular in the Sixties and Seventies, and I like the combo of brass and steel.

Cyrus Mirror from Horchow, $220: Another contemporary variation on the classic sunburst shape; it's a bit too childlike for my taste, though -- something about it makes me want to draw a happy face in the middle, like a child's sketch of the sun.

Linen Source Sunburst Mirror, $229: Great size (it's more than three feet in diameter) with a glam style that nods to the vintage versions; the mottled faux finish worries me a bit, though.

Vega Mirror from Ballard Designs, $229: In my opinion, this is the modern sunburst that comes closest to emulating the gilded antique models; plus, at nearly four feet in diameter, it's a good deal for the size.

Gold Sunburst Mirror from eBay Store Highgatehome, $234: Compare this to the strikingly similar (but much more expensive) mirror from Biggs Powell, below; personally, though, I'm not quite ready for the return of gold decor.

Kenneth Wingard Sunburst Mirror from CSN Lighting, $349: Aside from West Elm's, this sparkling model is probably the best fit for a really modern room; I like how it mimics the form of midcentury teak sunburst clocks, too.

Howard Elliot Rio de Janeiro Mirror, $420: The shape of this mirror is a close match for the vintage originals, but that bright bronze finish kind of scares me (there is, after all, a very fine line between fabulous and tacky).

French 1950s Brass Convex Sunburst Mirror from Biggs Powell, $1,300: Wonderful form and sterling provenance, but the cheapskate in me would probably opt instead for the Highgatehome knock-off, above, for about a fifth the price.

Circa-1930 French Gilded Mirror from Lebreton-Laurence, $2,700: Super-swanky, to be sure -- but ouch, that price; at 26 inches, it's a little on the small side, too.

French 1940s Gilded Sunburst Mirror from Barley Twist, $2,800: You can't get more glam than Forties French decor, and I love how the sun's rays alternate between long and short; still, that price is more than I bring home in a month.

Circa-1970 Mexican Sunburst Mirror from Douglas Rosin, $8,000: Yowza -- if I ever win the lottery, this five-foot-plus baby is all mine.

Which is your favorite?

(Photo at top from British Homes & Gardens magazine.)


style court said...

Leah, what an overview! Great research. I agree with you on the Vega too.

Joslyn said...

Here's something similar to the Vega in action in my living room
It's from NM home...affordable and very light.

katiedid said...

I love a good sunburst. I would have to work back from the Rio mirror I think.

girl meets glamour said...

What a great collection of sunburst mirrors. I've used the Kenneth Wingard one for a project and it just looks great in person. Have a great holiday weekend Leah!


Jane Flanagan said...

I adore one you haven't listed: The Constellation Mirror by Thomas Pheasant for Baker. You can view it here:

At $5894 it's on the higher end. But simply sparkles.

Not so much a sunburst, I also love love love this one: by Herve van der Straeten

I love your lists!

Anonymous said...

All these mirrors are georgeous.

I really love the Kenneth Wingard starburst mirror. You can see it at

Leah said...

Hey Marsh,

You can disagree with my observations and opinions all you like as long as you make your case respectfully.

Be rude, though, and your comment will be history. So bye-bye!

(Have a problem with that? Sorry -- it's my blog.)


Anonymous said...

I am looking for a stencil in a sunburst pattern about 6" Any ideas where to look? Jen


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