This beautiful jar was produced during the Grand Tour period, which dates from 1890-1910.
The Grand Tour travelers were the first tourists at large, who went abroad with serious intent of completing their education. They acquired a hint of Renaissance culture from Italy, and learned the international language of diplomacy from France. Many beautiful things were produced during this time as souvenirs for these enthusiastic travelers.
Objects such as this documented scenes from various places in France and Europe. They serve the same purpose as our modern postcards, remembering a favorite place, but are so much more interesting and useful! The images themselves are of historical interest, as they are literally window into the past, documenting places and buildings that in many cases no longer exist.
This round jar has a pressed glass pattern in the form of flower petals, surrounding a central portrait medallion. The bottom of the jar has the same pressed flower pattern, with the central medallion of pressed glass. The jar is edged in brass, and the central medallion on the top has a brass flower outline and a raised frame. Inside the frame is an eglomise color image of the port of France, in Grenoble. The interior of the jar is painted with a creme gouache, giving the jar a creme-colored appearance. The bottom of the jar reads "Portieux". There is a brass loop to open the jar and a brass hinge at the back (with a straight ballast which steadies the lid when open). There are no chips, and no color loss to the central medallion. The dimensions are: 4" round, 2" tall.
This is a lovely and delicate souvenir from the romantic past.
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