This unusually large casket is three times the size of it's more petite (and more readily found) cousins. The scene on the front commemorates the "Exposition Universelle" of 1900 (a world's fair held in Paris, France, to celebrate the achievements of the past century). The casket dates from 1900. Casket boxes such as this were sold to the wealthy traveling visitors, to commemorate their attendance at such a grand event.
The Exposition scene on the lid is very detailed. One can view the great expanse of such a worldwide event, and how it took over the landscape into which it was erected. The detail and the color of the scene, which is placed under thick, beveled glass is crisp and fresh. The lid measures 3/8" thick and had a bronze ormolu frame with "dentelle" prongs (which hold the glass into place).
The four sides of the casket/box feature fine, rectangular beveled glass (it is very thick, the bevel measures 1/4"). Fancy bronze dentelle ormolu frames each piece and the thick beveled glass reflects prisms of light. The lid is attached to the box with a bronze hinge (still in working order). The bottom of the casket is lined with tufted French blue silk. The inside of the lid is lined with French blue silk. There is a heavy latch which closes the lid (working and straight). The casket stands on four large (3/4" across center) ball feet which are made of bronze. The bottom of the box is of a thin metal, it was once covered with blue silk, but only traces of the silk remain.
The box measures: 4 1/4" square, 3 1/2" tall and 4 1/8" deep. The interior measures 2 1/4" deep. It is in very good condition. The bronze dentelle ormolu is sound and secure. The feet are sound and secure. There is little color loss to the image. The glass is in overall very good condition, (there are a couple of light scratches, and a very tiny nick to the edge of the bevel in the glass on the upper right side of the rectangular section) with little wear in consideration of the age of the casket.
For collectors of these caskets, this makes for an unusual centerpiece. It also is of large enough size to be a lovely and useful jewelry box.
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Fine French Small Antiques: Eighteenth Century Smalls, Gilded Bronze, Objets of Vertu, Napoleon III