Antique French Faux Tortoise Shell Perfume Etui, Mechanical - scent caddy in 'tortoiseshell'

Ah, the whimsical little souvenir caskets of the earliest 1800s, shaped like eggs, or fruit, or even made into little carriages pulled by miniature horses, dogs, goats - these fabulous old treasures hail from the boutiques that once lined the promenade of the old Richelieu Palace, which was from 1700 onward a haven and gathering place for Royals, Coutiers, the elite of Europe, and which is known simply as the Palais Royal. The objects offered there in the boutiques caught the eye of theatregoers and found its way home with early Grand Tour travellers as well, all of whom would have been wealthy enough to acquire such whimsies. This one is in a particularly French fashion of ormolu framework inset with panels of faux shell, and is a mechanical caddy. Topped by that finial of leaves and blossom, one presses down upon it and releases the catch that holds the 2 hinged halves of the fruit-shaped caddy to reveal 2 little perfume bottles inside their fitted compartments within. They, in turn, also have hinged caps and open to reveal tiny perfectly fitted glass stoppers, both of which remain with this fine old set. The faux shell you see used here is actually a forerunner of the later plastics and was a resin made from the proteins in milk, (casein), and is a great mimic for real shell of the era. Steamed into shape, mounted in the framework, it's rare for these old faux panels to survive so unscathed as we see in this one, so a double delight to offer it to our customers.

Very good to excellent for age and type. All panels of the shell are in really fine condition, without chips or cracks or losses of note (perhaps a very tiny one, but normally these have substantial damage - if they survived at all). One tiny hinged cap of one scent bottle has a pushed top, as you can see in our images. Both tiny stoppers remain with the set. Rare to find, and rarer to find complete as you see here. Mechanical parts all working perfectly well. A lovely old treasure.

Item ID: 611tseggscnt

Antique French Faux Tortoise Shell Perfume Etui, Mechanical - scent caddy in 'tortoiseshell'

Antique French Faux Tortoise Shell Perfume Etui, Mechanical - scent caddy in 'tortoiseshell'
Antique French Faux Tortoise Shell Perfume Etui, Mechanical - scent caddy in 'tortoiseshell'
Antique French Faux Tortoise Shell Perfume Etui, Mechanical - scent caddy in 'tortoiseshell'
Antique French Faux Tortoise Shell Perfume Etui, Mechanical - scent caddy in 'tortoiseshell'
Antique French Faux Tortoise Shell Perfume Etui, Mechanical - scent caddy in 'tortoiseshell'
Antique French Faux Tortoise Shell Perfume Etui, Mechanical - scent caddy in 'tortoiseshell'
Antique French Faux Tortoise Shell Perfume Etui, Mechanical - scent caddy in 'tortoiseshell'
Antique French Faux Tortoise Shell Perfume Etui, Mechanical - scent caddy in 'tortoiseshell'
Antique French Faux Tortoise Shell Perfume Etui, Mechanical - scent caddy in 'tortoiseshell'

Ah, the whimsical little souvenir caskets of the earliest 1800s, shaped like eggs, or fruit, or even made into little carriages pulled by miniature horses, dogs, goats - these fabulous old treasures hail from the boutiques that once lined the promenade of the old Richelieu Palace, which was from 1700 onward a haven and gathering place for Royals, Coutiers, the elite of Europe, and which is known simply as the Palais Royal. The objects offered there in the boutiques caught the eye of theatregoers and found its way home with early Grand Tour travellers as well, all of whom would have been wealthy enough to acquire such whimsies. This one is in a particularly French fashion of ormolu framework inset with panels of faux shell, and is a mechanical caddy. Topped by that finial of leaves and blossom, one presses down upon it and releases the catch that holds the 2 hinged halves of the fruit-shaped caddy to reveal 2 little perfume bottles inside their fitted compartments within. They, in turn, also have hinged caps and open to reveal tiny perfectly fitted glass stoppers, both of which remain with this fine old set. The faux shell you see used here is actually a forerunner of the later plastics and was a resin made from the proteins in milk, (casein), and is a great mimic for real shell of the era. Steamed into shape, mounted in the framework, it's rare for these old faux panels to survive so unscathed as we see in this one, so a double delight to offer it to our customers.

Very good to excellent for age and type. All panels of the shell are in really fine condition, without chips or cracks or losses of note (perhaps a very tiny one, but normally these have substantial damage - if they survived at all). One tiny hinged cap of one scent bottle has a pushed top, as you can see in our images. Both tiny stoppers remain with the set. Rare to find, and rarer to find complete as you see here. Mechanical parts all working perfectly well. A lovely old treasure.

Item ID: 611tseggscnt

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$846 USD SOLD

Antiques & Uncommon Treasure


Susan Dean, San Marcos, CA   

Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European

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SALE 15% OFF - Prices as shown. All the BEST, all the time - year after year, #1 Most Visited ANTIQUES SHOP at Ruby Lane.

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