It’s no wonder that the Keno twins, who put the fun back into antiquing, can’t pass a bull’s-eye mirror without checking it out. The round, bubble-like glass throws a curve and casts them in a fun-house light. “It’s kind of wild–psychedelic,” says Leslie, who laughs as he cringes at his own distorted reflection. Clearly, he can’t resist the combination punch—a surreal image framed in Regency gilt.
The landed gentry, however, were thinking less about fun and games and more about keeping an eye on the guests (and maybe the family silver). Like a wide-angle, fish-eye camera lens, the outward-bending glass allowed a butler to see an entire room—and which glasses needed refilling—while staying discreetly out of sight. It was the ultimate domestic surveillance system.
Photographs by Brian McCay
Text by Doris Athineos
Produced by Leigh Keno and Leslie Keno