A History Lesson: The All Powerful Sunburst Mirror

Calpella Dark Gold 29 1/4" Round Sunburst Wall Mirror

This post follows up on Reflecting on Sunburst Mirrors. I love its shape. You have the consistent circular shape at the center and its irregular but repetitive rays. It’s elegance and dresses a room up very nicely like a pair of pearl earrings. And unless you get a huge mirror, it doesn’t generally demand to be an absolute statement or center or attention in the room. Like the pearls, it generally plays well with others, which is why you will sometimes find it among a wall gallery or as a piece over the fire place. That’s why I believe sunburst mirrors will strongly continue to be a timeless home accessory.

Sun King

The sunburst mirrors have gained so much popularity in these recent years that I can’t even begin to imagine what would be in its place if we didn’t have King Louis XVI all these years ago. The history of the sunburst mirror can be traced all the back to this Sun King. The photo above depicts his emblem, which is the face of Apollo surrounded by sun rays, and his love for the sun. It has been said that the Sun King would get up every morning and gaze at himself in the sunburst mirror to see himself at the center of the rays.

But we have so much more to thank him for. The Sun King was a major supporter of the arts.  A lot of the interior design were all about the shine and Versailles still stands today. Read a little bit more here about what styles he brought to light.

This is in brief a short history of the sunburst mirror by Houzz.

The sunburst mirrors then experienced a resurging interest in the mid-19th century. They got a bit of an atomic make-over right around the time everyone decorated with midcentury pieces. This is an interesting article about the midcentury popularity.

These days, the sunburst has all kinds of new design looks to it, but still remains consistent in having a mirror at the center of the rays.

Green headboard bedroom chandelier sunburst mirror green border bedding bedskirt stools:

That sunburst mirror really has the look of a radiance sun. And I love the blue and green combination here!

dam images decor jean louis deniot jean louis deniot chicago apartment 02 entry hall

This is kind of goes back to the atomic and midcentury time period that I referred to earlier in this post. Pretty cool looking, isn’t it.

Swoon Worthy bedroom

If you follow Swoon Worthy for more than a minute, then you know she’s got a thing for sunburst mirrors as well. Even though this is more about her lessons on owning a house, this post shows two other rooms with sunburst mirrors in it. It’s not such a bad thing to collect, you know?

A sunburst mirror on the ceiling? How cool is that? I mean, they had better super glue that thing on there- but how cool?


I particularly love sunburst mirrors on a wall gallery. It helps to break up all the squareness and rectangleness going on. (Don’t lecture me on how those were not really a word.)

David Jimenez:

When you hang it down low enough on the wall, it’s pretty cool that it’s included in a vignette.

Like I said, sunburst mirrors with all its different designs is not a bad thing to collect.

Here’s a few of my favorites:

Rey Mirror at Z Galleries


Sunburst Mirror at Rejuvenation 

Sunburst Mirror at Ethan Allen

Sabina Antiqued Gold 30 1/2" Round Sunburst Wall Mirror

Sabina Antique Sunburst Mirror at Lamps Plus

Show Picture 2

Raindrops at Uttermost

You can find sunburst mirrors in silver. I just prefer gold. It’s more glamorous and a more warm color than silver.

Credit: Photo 1: Lampsplus; Photo 2: Maitland-Smith; Photo 3: Cris Angsten Interiors; Photo 4: Desire to Inspire; Photo 5: One Kings Lane; Photo 6: Simple Details Blog; Photo 7: Architectural Digest; Photo 8: Swoon Worthy; Photo 9: Cris Angsten Interiors; Photo 10: Alice Lane Home; Photo 11: David Jimenez; Photo 12: Traditional Home

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