Antique French Grand Tour Souvenir Sewing Pin Cushion - Notre Dame of Paris, Eglomise View
I love Paris! Don't we all! And the fascination with Paris and France in general is centuries old. Culturally exquisite, architecturally devine - one of the world's greatest cities by all standards. And the awe of the early tourists matched our own, I'm sure. The 19th century's industrialization opened borders and made travel more viable for at least the wealthy, spawning the famed Grand Tour era. The first tourists were met with a growing industry of souvenirs at each stop, and one of the most charming of the era remains these eglomise (back-painted glass) trinkets made in France mid-late 1800s. These little scenes and mementos of Paris turn up in many forms. We've had many over the years, with scenes of Paris landmarks like the Notre Dame (shown here), and some, like little coin purses, have 5 or even more views. They were crowd pleasers, and other countries began to commission eglomise trinkets from the French, as well, so one can find some with scenes of English landmarks, others, but the primary trade was for Paris, within Paris. I have never seen this particular form before, and would consider it quite a rare one for an eglomise and Grand Tour item. It is a round pin cushion. We often see this form made with round sides of carved mother of pearl, or sometimes ivory or other materials, but I've never seen one in the Paris eglomise souvenir form shown here. A lovely skyline of Paris, it even shows other buildings in the background and people in foreground, and that old Gothic front.
Very good to excellent. The old and still lush blue silk velvet that forms the pin cushion flanked by the ormolu and eglomise rounds is still supple and retains nearly all of its original nap. A spot or two of verdigris (green 'tarnish') that we didn't even try to remove before our photographer (who is WAY ahead of me) got to the piece ahead of me giving it a cleaning. Very high gold on the ormolu sides, and the back notes (as if we were unsure) "Souvenir". No losses, glass with painting is in excellent condition.