A most beautiful hand-painted enamel scene adorns the top of this brilliant cobalt blue standing bonbon jar. It dates from 1880-1890.
Bonbon jars were popular in French society during the late nineteenth century. Wealthy ladies would keep them in their salons and bedchambers, full of delicate little sweets. They were crafted in many individual shapes and designs. This example is one of the loveliest that we have seen.
A fine polished bronze stand holds the cobalt blue bowl of the jar. A hand-painted chain of white enamel circles forms a garland around the jar. The tops of the bowl and lid are fitted with bronze casings, and a fine bronze latch is placed on the lid. Two circular handles (which are unusual in a bonbon jar).
The lid has a very romantic scene of cupid with his bow drawn and aimed at a beautiful butterfly. It is an eternal scene of love and romance, and the artist has very delicately portrayed each detail with care. The figures seem to float above the deep cobalt blue glass, they have an ethereal quality. The romantic scene suggests that perhaps the jar was a gift to a beautiful mademoiselle from an "amour".
The jar is in excellent condition, with no visible chips or cracks. The bronze base and fittings are sound. There is almost no loss to the enamel painted scene. It measures: 3 1/2" tall, 3" in diameter at base, and 3 3/8" in diameter across the bowl. It is a heavy jar, the glass and brass are very thick.
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Fine French Small Antiques: Eighteenth Century Smalls, Gilded Bronze, Objets of Vertu, Napoleon III