Family's bathroom mirror, once owned by Marie Antoinette, expected to fetch thousands at auction

The looking glass once belonged to the ill-fated French queen

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the most surprised of all?

A family is expected to earn thousands from the sale of an antique mirror passed between generations, after learning that the looking glass once belonged to Marie Antoinette.

A family is expected to earn thousands from the sale of an antique mirror passed between generations.

A family is expected to earn thousands from the sale of an antique mirror passed between generations. (SWNS)

A member of the unnamed family had kept the small mirror on the bathroom wall of near their own toilet “throne” for nearly 40 years after inheriting the item from their grandmother, South West News Service (SWNS) reports.

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A portrait of Marie-Antoinette by Vigée-Le Brun, dated 1783.

A portrait of Marie-Antoinette by Vigée-Le Brun, dated 1783. (Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The mirror measures about 19 inches by 15 inches, is mounted in a walnut frame with leaves and flowers, and is adorned with a plaque that reads, “This glass once belonged to Marie Antoinette and was purchased at the sale of Napoleon's effects.”

The mirror is presumably worth "a fortune," SWNS reported, and was likely purchased by Napoleon III’s wife Eugenie, who was obsessed with the ill-fated French queen.

The mirror is adorned with a plaque which reads, “This glass once belonged to Marie Antoinette and was purchased at the sale of Napoleon's effects.”

The mirror is adorned with a plaque which reads, “This glass once belonged to Marie Antoinette and was purchased at the sale of Napoleon's effects.” (SWNS)

The antique was bought in the 1950s by a family friend of the current owner. When the original buyer passed away in the '80s, the mirror was given to the grandmother of the present owner.

Now, the item is expected to fetch thousands when it’s put up for sale by East Bristol Auctions in Bristol, England, later this week.

Marie's mirror had been hanging on a family's bathroom wall for decades. It is now expected to sell for least $10,000 at auction on Friday.

Marie's mirror had been hanging on a family's bathroom wall for decades. It is now expected to sell for least $10,000 at auction on Friday. (SWNS)

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“With something like this, provenance is everything” said auctioneer Andrew Stowe. “This has a wonderful paper trail – it actually appears in a catalogue from an auction held in 1880 at Camden House in Kent, for the estate of the late Napoleon III, in which is it noted as a ‘toilet-glass in an Indian Wood frame.’”

“This has a wonderful paper trail,” said auctioneer Andrew Stowe.

“This has a wonderful paper trail,” said auctioneer Andrew Stowe. (SWNS)

''When we saw that, it pretty much sealed it as the real deal,” Stowe said.

According to Stowe, the mirror’s most recent owner “never really thought it to be worth anything” and considered it “more interesting than valuable.”

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‘'When they first bought it to our attention, we were certainly keen to explore its history, and then once we discovered all of this incredible evidence it really did become something special,” the auctioneer explained. ''To think one of the most famous historical figures looked into this very mirror is just spellbinding.”

The mirror’s most recent owner “never really thought it to be worth anything” and considered it “more interesting than valuable.”

The mirror’s most recent owner “never really thought it to be worth anything” and considered it “more interesting than valuable.” (SWNS)

Marie’s mirror will be auctioned on Friday through East Bristol’s Specialist Fine Art & Antiques Auction, where it is expected go for at least $10,000.