April 28, 2012

Federal Bullseye Mirrors

Federal Bulls Eye mirrors, or sometimes called Girandole mirrors if candleholders are attached have an eagle at the top which is cohesive with the Federal period. These mirrors have an interesting "wide-angle fish-eye camera lens" concave glass effect which actually served a purpose. 

Historically, these mirrors were displayed in dining rooms where entertaining would occur and with the outward bending glass, this allowed the butler to see the entire room (ie. when glasses needed refilling or prevent guests from trying to steal the silver) while staying discreetly out of sight. It was the ultimate domestic surveillance system. I always see a few of these at Scott's Antiques and they are awesome. Now they can be found in living areas above a mantel, in the bedroom, or in the hallway.

Lynn Morgan at House Beautiful

Notice the 13 balls around the mirror. This was to represent the 13 original colonies. Bullseye Convex Mirror from Richard Rothstein

Here is a smaller version painted white from Lonny

The company, Syroco founded in 1890 used resins to replicate the original wooden adornments and carvings on the mirrors to make replicas. These more affordable versions can be found on Ebay and Etsy.
Federal Style Mirror by Syroco found on Etsy from Affordable Adornment 

Another Etsy find from Green Zebre

Syroco Federal Bullseye mirror from Belated Designs on Etsy

Convex mirror from Cafiero Select


  1. Really a great post! I never knew the 13 balls represented the 13 original colonies, much less the convex mirror uses as a surveillance tool!! So cool! Thanks for representing Green Street, I'm flattered. Love your blog - I'm your newest follower!

  2. Wow! Thanks for that interesting tidbit about the Federal bullseye mirrors... and they look so good in those spaces.

  3. I just got one of these a while back and had no idea about the history, that's so cool!

  4. I would never have this in my home as it would not go with my style. However I think it can look really classy as you have shown in pictures. If I ever have a beach house I think I would definitely add a Dederal Bullseye Mirror to it. xo

  5. I love these mirrors! My grandparents have one in their house, and I admire it any time I visit!

  6. It looks lovely! Good to hear about it's real purpose. Have a beautiful day, Kellie xx

  7. I love the look of the classic gold bullseye mirror! You have me regretting passing up on one of these recently at the antique store.

    Kini Style & Klury.com


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