The most delicious and exquisite shade of French blue serves as a background for tiny hand-painted gilt crosses, each of which have a hand-painted white porcelain dot in the center. This type of fine and sumptuous work is typical of the Napoleon III period (1852-1870).
The beautiful box is of an oval shape, with both the sides and top curving outward. The bowl of the box rests on a fine gilt dore bronze frame. Four finely cast, very decorative, outward turned feet hold the bottom of the box slightly above the tabletop. The magnificent number of gilt crosses and dots gives both visual and textural interest. There is a hand-painted scrolling gilt border at the top of the bowl.
The lid of the box is surrounded by a fine, textured band, with a little lip which serves as a center handle. It has a magnificent number of gilt crosses and enamel dots as well, which are framed by a hand-painted scrolling gilt border. The interior still boasts the original creme moiré silk lining, with creme silk braid trim.
The little box is delicate and light. There are no missing enamel dots (which is unusual) and all the hand-painted gilt design is in excellent condition. The bronze doré structure is in excellent condition, as is the silk interior. The hinge and latch are in good working order, the feet stand even and sturdy.
It measures:2 1/2" tall, 4 5/8" across (at feet), 3 1/2" deep (at feet), the lid measures 4" across, 3" deep, the interior, 3 1/2" deep and 3 3/8" wide.
Fine French Small Antiques: Eighteenth Century Smalls, Gilded Bronze, Objets of Vertu, Napoleon III