Black Cheval mirrors: Royal servants of the 18th Century

Black cheval mirrors are part of a family of mirrors with a glorious past that has seen palaces and castles, and queens and princesses. Cheval mirrors are not new to the industry – far from it. They have been around for more than 200 years now, popular ever since the second half of the 18th Century, where they were used by those of blue blood. Back in the day, they were also referred to as horse dressing mirrors because of a pulley mechanism called 'the horse' that allowed the height of the mirror to be adjusted. They were also called psyche mirrors, possibly a reference to the story of Eros, also known as Cupid, and Psyche, a mortal woman of such great beauty that she made Aphrodite herself jealous. These mirrors were so popular because they had a swivel stand that let them be inclined at whatever angle was required. They are popular to this day, and are still strong players in the mirror market, though they may also be known by the monikers 'standing' or 'floor' mirrors.

Beware the black cheval mirror

Black, in itself, is a severe and stunning color, but when contrasted with a mirror surface, it has an ominous look to it. But for the stand, there's a good chance that the wicked witch-queen in the Snow White story used a black magic mirror (not a black-magic mirror) to find out who the fairest of them all was! Because of the stark contrast it creates, a black cheval mirror will easily blend with most any décor theme, while staunchly maintaining its individuality and character. Not recommended for a child's room though – too dark a mood for that. Besides, studies show that a child can be influenced by the colors they see around them; and that, mingled with the Snow White story, could set off a chain reaction that will end God knows where!

Black is the new white, and cheap to boot

Black cheval mirrors aren't expensive but they can be, depending on where you buy them, and how old they are. $150 to $200 would be a fair price for a base model, and they are more popular as rectangular mirrors than the traditional oval design. has a few in this price band, but for a really good session of comparison shopping, is the 'go to' website. They're got over 100 models of cheval mirrors, quite a few of them of the rubbed black variety. And you can compare mirrors to see what features each of them has and pick the best one for you. Naturally, there's an upper price band as well, and tags can go all the way up to several hundred dollars, like the Neiman Marcus 'Piper' black cheval mirrors that retail for $799.

Black cheval mirror care: Long live longevity

Like all mirrors, black cheval mirrors require a bit of spit shine every now and then, maybe more so than other colors because dust is very clearly visible on black. Apart from the weekly dusting, you'll want to periodically clean the glass surface with a dilute mixture of water, vinegar and lemon juice. The vinegar acts as a mildew-preventive agent, and the lemon juice adds a fresh odor to the room as well gets rid of potentially permanent stains. If you're using a commercial glass cleaner, use a mild one with a glass-cloth that won't leave unseemly streaks, defeating the very purpose of cleaning the mirror. You can also lightly oil or grease the swivel joints to keep corrosion from setting in, and keep the mirror squeak-free. One of the best things about cheval mirrors is the fact that they're inherently portable, so try moving it around every now and then to give it fresh appeal. With all these tips and bits of information, you should be able to live happily ever after with your black cheval mirror. End of story.