Vanity of Vanities!
"There are no grades of vanity, there are only grades of ability in concealing it.”
~Mark Twain, Notebook, 1898.
Up until the 14th century, the word “vanity” meant “futility” as is discussed in the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Multiple times in the book, it says, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” After the 14th century, the word “vanity” took on another meaning – the meaning of narcissism and boasting. It’s a word that embodies egocentricity and pride in ones own attractiveness.
Owning a vanity isn’t a vanity, however. Maintaining appearance is an important part of life and beauty is one of the great gifts we get to enjoy on earth. It’s the Narcissus who marred the vanity’s name.
The vanity pictured here is from the time of Louis XV, just a century after the first known vanity was made. During the reign of Louis XIV, furniture makers were beginning to ditch blueprints and get creative with what they made. With societies’ growing interest in high fashion, bedroom and bathroom furniture became popular.
Being true to its name, the vanity’s purpose was to store beauty items. Many had a mirror attached, as well as a sink, like this beauty from Legacy Antiques. Legacy writes, “This piece is absolutely stunning, having a delicate floral inlay, flawless cream marble top and backsplash, heavy bronze figural mounts, and a built in copper sink.”
An antique vanity is a glamorous piece of furniture that adds debonair to any room. It’s also very functional. By storing beauty products and jewelry in a piece so elegant, it frees up space in the rest of your home, improving your space, overall.