We wish that we could include the beautiful tune that this little box plays with this description. "Brahms Lullaby" serenades the listener with sweet and delicate tones when the box it opened.
The box is French (from Paris) and dates from 1900-1905. It is cast bronze/metal and has an extremely intricate ribbed pattern to the body. Beautiful tulip flowers go up and down vertically in the areas between the ribbing. The box stands on four fancy feet; each foot is formed from an acanthus leaf at the center, two "C" scrolls and flanking acanthus leaves.
The lid has two fine gilded bronze braided frames. An exquisite porcelain "scene galante" medallion ornaments the center. It is hand painted, and depicts a handsome young man serenading a lovely young lady with a lute guitar. She sits in a garden, with a flower basket in her lap. Her purple, blue and yellow dress are detailed with the folds of the material and the lines of the lace up bodice. The painting is so fine that you can see the tiny strings of the lute and the smiling faces of the young couple. A deep burgundy velvet inset (1/2" wide) frames the medallion. A half heart lip serves to open the lid of the box.
The interior is lined with deep burgundy velvet. The interior is shallow (1 1/4") as the bottom half holds the music works. The bottom of the box has the winding key, which when turned to the right, winds up the music works. A tiny wire at the top left edge pops up when the lid is open, allowing the tune to begin. The music is heavenly, clear and bright (which is amazing with the age of the box).
The box is in excellent condition. The music portion works perfectly. The velvet is not faded or frayed (one velvet seam edge is slightly ajar at the top of the interior, but we chose not to re-glue this, leaving the decision to the final owner).
The romantic "scene galante" and the absolutely glorious music combine together to make this little box a charming and one-of-a-kind treasure.
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Fine French Small Antiques: Eighteenth Century Smalls, Gilded Bronze, Objets of Vertu, Napoleon III