Jul 22, 2011

New convex mirror {thrifty find}

Hey, all, happy Friday! I cannot wait for the weekend. We're in the middle of a bona fide heat wave here in Maine...it's supposed to get up to 100 degrees in Maine's largest city, which it hasn't done in over 30 years! If only I could spend all day at the beach...

Just a little post to share my latest thrift store purchase. I’ve driven by this little thift/flea market place a zillion times but always had somewhere to be, or groceries in the car, or the hubs with me (he is not a thrifter!), so I’ve never stopped. But I had a lazy Saturday morning to myself last weekend, so I made it a point to stop in and see what was there.

It had lots of your general flea market finds -- vintage glassware, collectibles, old furniture, etc. -- and even a few random things (who really buys 30-year-old VHS tapes anymore??). I had lots of fun looking through it all, but since I didn’t really need any of it, I came home with just a little glass bottle, for a grand total of $3.15.

But something else caught my eye: a convex mirror. I pondered over it, but ultimately went home without it. But I kept thinking about it, and then, while watching an episode of True Blood, I spotted the same style of mirror in a shot of Bill Compton's house (I tried to find a screen shot of it but couldn't, but for any True Blood fans, it hangs on the wall next to the front door, I think on the left). I took it as a sign that the universe wanted me to buy it, so I showed the hubs a picture. He said “pretty cool,” which I took to mean, “Yes, please buy it, I can’t live without it!” (Okay, that was really just how I felt about it....).

So, a couple days later (with groceries in the car, I might add), I made another stop. This time I knew I’d be fast, since I had a purpose, a mission, an objective. I must have this mirror!

Please ignore the weeds...it's far too hot to do yard work

I first saw this kind of mirror when Lauren wrote about them in Pure Style Home. They’re a Federal-style convex mirror made in the 18th century and widely reproduced in the 1940s and 50s by a Syracuse company called Syroco. The Syroco reproductions are made of a kind of wood-flour material molded and made to look gold. Many have 13 balls or stars around the mirror to represent the 13 original American colonies. Though modeled after a European style, they became symbols of American independence.

From the George Washington Collection of Mirrors by the Friedman Brothers, a reproduction for sale at Mount Vernon for $3,200.

The originals and even the higher-end reproductions go for thousands of dollars, but I bought mine for a cool $18. I thought that was a pretty good deal, since I’ve seen other Syroco pieces like that selling for $50 or more online. Yippee!

It’s totally out of my usual style, but something about it really draws me. Maybe it’s the crazy convex mirror that looks like a porthole (I do like nautical things). Maybe it’s that the eagle reminds me of the eagle my parents hung on our house when I was kid (it now hangs on the shed). Maybe I’m just really feeling patriotic and the eagle reinforces my American pride. Who knows! But I’m very happy to have it.

Proud to be an American...!

The hubs’ response? “It looks more gold than the picture you showed me.” No worries. I have plans to paint it. Although I hesitate to paint it, the gold color is starting to tarnish and I don’t think gold is my thing -- doesn’t really fit with our house. I’m thinking about painting it a fresh, modern white, like these:

Of course, in the right room, it looks great gold too, adding a little glam:

Elle Decor, via Matters of Style

I thought it could go in our office when we get around to working on it, since it kind of has a nautical feel, I think, and might go well with my code-flag prints. But maybe I’ll change my mind. I kind of want to put it over my bed, so that eagle can watch over us. I guess I’m creepy like that...

Always feel like...somebody's watchin' me!

But seriously, what do you think? Paint the frame a bright, shiny white, accompanied by the code flag prints, also in their own white frames? Or paint the mirror turquoise or coral or another fun color? I’d love to hear your suggestions on what to do with this mirror! Here's one of two code flag prints I have that I'm planning to hang in the office.

And just so you can see what my new thrifty find looks like on the wall, I hung it up quickly in the kitchen.

I couldn't get that darn price sticker off and I was too impatient to take photos

In other news, my birch arbor and mason jar lanterns were featured again, this time by Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming! Thank you so much, Stephanie Lynn!

Linking my thrifty find up at Finding Fabulous' Frugalicious Friday, so stop by and check it out!


Anonymous said...

it's a classic! great find :) have a wonderful weekend ~diane

Megan Goodin said...

I cannot believe I ran across this post! I just bought the same exact mirror from a thrift store for $14 last week and painted it white. I love it! I plan to blog about it at the end of the week in which I will be linking to your blog post to show your mirror off as well. Feel free to stop by and check it out!