Another exceptionally charming french bauble that would have likely come from the boutiques of the old Palais Royal in Paris. The Palais Royal, formerly the residence of Cardinal Richelieu, if you haven't visited, is a must see for those who love the old French treasures. I was just there and found that they're working to open a rather modern upscale 'mall' on the site, and it felt like a violation. The old boutiques that line the promenade flanking the interior garden of the old Palace were, from 1700s to mid-1800s, filled with all manner of luxury from magnificent porcelains to French silver-filled travel 'necessaire' or cases, to baubles and fine jewelry, clothing and confections. The French opalines and whimsical items such as you see here would have delighted child and adult, alike, and while not all of them survive totally unscathed, these old items come to us today as specially coveted objects, collectors' treasures. This is an early 1800s French double inkwell (green opaline glass pots missing the ormolu lids that surely must have once covered them). The stand is the old type with carved alabaster base and a mount of elaborate ormolu metalwork that rises in grape leaves and white opaline berries or grapes, ultimately forms a pair of candle holders and the center fitting would have held a glass epergne for a few flowers. Alas, as noted, the caps to the two inkpots are no longer with the set, and the epergne is also missing (a project piece) but in total, what remains is fabulous and excellent. The figure is a little French child from the Louis Kings era, complete with his tri-corn cap. The remaining elements are in great form, no breaks or chips or cracks at all to disclose. The ormolu fitting is tightly attached, and ready for your candles and epergne. I can see this on a lovely desktop, but also at table as a centerpiece should you be so inclined.
Very good to excellent for age and type, a nod to the missing caps on the 2 opaline inkwells, the missing epergne that would fit into the center and highest holder in the stand. The two blossoms of ormolu metal would be to hold a pair of small candles, or perhaps it is possible they once held a cupped holder for either candle or flowers, I suppose. The base is carved alabaster, slightly darkened naturally and not ink stained. The porcelain figure is Old Paris, unsigned, might possibly be Sevres or Vincennes, and is undamaged. The opaline grapes or berries and the opaline ink pots are without damage, not a chip or crack to be found. A lovely old piece in very fine condition overall.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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