In a new series, Elizabeth Pash, designer and owner of Elizabeth Pash Antiques & Decoration, will be sharing one item you should be on the lookout for when shopping for antiques. Get to know our Girl on the Ground, just in time for your weekend shopping!
If you're looking for eye-catching wall art, these charming glazed ceramic mirrors, created by the French ceramicist Francois Lembo during the 1960s and 70s, make for a fabulous collection. Lembo was from the town of Vallauris, on the Cote d’Azure, and his mirrors are often designed in deep, saturated tones reminiscent of the French Riviera.
Lembo found his inspiration for these whimsical creations in Byzantine art, often using mosaics in his design. He gradually began to feature Russian icons in his work. Using photographs as his starting point, he created these works with precious stones set within a frame decorated in gold leaf. Many of his mirrors have a crackled glaze effect on the gold frames, which gives them so much depth and visual interest.
Some of my favorites are Lembo’s mirrors in different shades of the same color, such as these in blues. The saturation is stunning and hard to copy. The mirrors vary in shape, size, color and design, and that variation is what makes them so spectacular in a grouping.
These mirrors are so unique that they are easily recognizable, even though Lembo didn’t sign many of his pieces. Things to look out for are the use of crackled gold frames, embedded jewels, and the use of birds.
The most unusual one I found was this little sunburst—adorable!
Because these mirrors are so small, they are mostly valued for their workmanship and their decorative quality, not as mirrors.
Even one Francois Lembo mirror on a shelf or on a wall will add fun and personality to a room. But don’t hesitate to use several of these at once, or even to include these gems as part of a larger mix of art work. My advice: If you see one, buy it!
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