This is an exquisite item, from the late nineteenth century. It would have been sold in Paris, in one of the fine stores of the elegant Passage Arcades, which displayed luxurious objects for wealthy Parisians and travelers.
It is a miniature version of a chaise a porteurs and is beautifully adorned in the delicious Vernis Martin style with a design featuring delightful winged cherubs.
The three panels (sides and front) are metal, and are molded to give a two-dimensional design. This design gives the cherubs a life-like appearance. On the front panel, two winged cherubs sit atop a cloud, with two white doves above them. They hold a gilt soldier's helmet which has a large red plume. The glass window is surrounded by pink and green wreaths and flowers. There is a brass doorknob, with a painted (pink roses) porcelain panel.
The right panel depicts the cherubs on a spring green lawn, the one in the center holding a blue flower. The cherub on the left holds a white dove and the one on the right leans against a yellow pottery vase. The side glass window panel is surrounded by green fern leaves and wreaths of pink and white flowers.
The left panel depicts the cherubs on a spring green grassy hill, one holds a butterfly net and one holds a fishing pole. The side glass panel is surrounded by spring green fern leaves and wreaths of white and pink flowers.
The bottom panel, top and back are in a pink/mauve velvet. The interior is rose moire silk with silk and metal cording. There is a turn key for the music box (which plays on occasion when the door is opened). On the back panel of the interior is a metal hook, which is for displaying a pocket watch or piece of jewelry.
The dimensions are: 7" tall, 4" deep (at deepest point) and 3 1/4" wide. The interior seat is 1 1/2" deep and 3" wide.
It is in very good condition. All the tiny nails are present, which hold the vernis martin panels to the body of the chaise a porteurs. The velvet and silk have minimum wear. There is minimal color loss to the vernis martin panels. The music box will work, but does need some cleaning and lubrication.
This beautiful object has many uses, from jewelry box to doll display.
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