This charming mirror is extremely rare, as the vast majority of French mirrors from the 18th century are in gilded wood rather than gilt tôle (or tin) and wrought iron, as is this example. These materials were unusual and experimental in mid-18th century France, and many surviving pieces are provincial and in marked contrast to the more sophisticated and high-style steel pieces made for the Court and Paris residences (U. Leben, "Iron and Steel Furniture in France," The Magazine Antiques, September 1996, p. 346-353). This mirror's extremely sinuous, mouvementé outline and organic form embody the whimsical spirit of the rococo style of the 1740's. A smaller and less ambitious wrought-iron mirror from the 18th century is illustrated in exh. cat., Miroirs, Jeux et reflects depuis l'Antiquité, Paris, 2000, fig. 136.