Style Files: Vanities

In 18th century France, “toilet tables” became a piece of furniture that every high born and bred lady desired. The “toilet tables” became what we know today as “vanities”. Ladies in France would put their makeup on and have their hair done at their “toilet tables”. Their cosmetics would be laid out on the table in preparation and when the ladies were finished they would wrap their cosmetics in small, square linens (known as toilettes) and bundle the makeup in the storage section of their vanities. The 18th century Restoration “toilet table” was ornate and gorgeous, featuring carvings and brass pulls and knobs.

In the 1788 book Cabinet-Makers’ London Book of Prices, there is a designer for a vanity with a folding top, cistern, and basin drawer. A mirror was added on top to allow the ladies to apply their makeup personally instead of having it applied for them. In the Victorian-era and 19th-century England, vanities became known as dressing tables. They became a feature of every bedroom set and were usually made from oak, mahogany, wood, and walnut. Antique vanities have incredible craftsmanship and an interesting history.

If you’re looking for an antique vanity or “toilet table” then visit AntiquitiesWeb. AntiquitiesWeb has a large variety of vanities including:


Mahogany vanity, once used by Lucille Ball, in a high gloss hand rubbed finish with black lacquer wood pulls. Sliding recessed glass top extension. Circa 1930s. 


Art Deco set of a mirror, console and 2 chairs, manufactured by J. & J. Kohn. Circa 1905-1910.


French Art Deco Dresser.Walnut and Macassar Ebony. Circa 1930, France.


French Art Deco elegant exotic walnut and lemonwood dressing table with nickel plated hardware and tulip-shaped center mirror. Circa 1930. 


French Art Deco walnut dressing table with large mirror, one center drawer and 5 drawers down right side. Circa 1930. 


French Art Deco Dressing Table exotic walnut and cherry wood with an oval center mirror, and a small drawer above a cabinet door on both sides of mirror. France circa 1930. Stamped Majorelle Nancy. 


Biedermeier table and chair set. Circa 1840-1860. 


A De Coene Belgian Art Deco vanity and mirror of rare Morrocan thuya wood; DeCoene awarded at the 1925 Paris Exposition. Circa 1925.

If you’re looking for a unique vanity or dressing table then contact AntiquitiesWeb. Our selection of top quality antiques are unique, original, and timelessly beautiful. No matter what kind of antique you’re looking for, AntiquitiesWeb has the piece for you. To see these pieces and more call us at 212-644-4236, contact us, or visit our New York gallery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>