This whimsical and very life-like ferris wheel was fashioned for the traveling nobility during the time of the Grand Tour in the late nineteenth century. Many travelers frequented the Paris expositions where great wonders and advancements were to be seen. This miniature is a souvenir of the Exposition of 1900, in Paris.
Miniatures, trinket boxes and small souvenir items were created to be future treasures. Often embellished with images of popular monuments, they give us today, a view of these monuments from a specific moment in time.
This ferris wheel is amazing, with twelve little coaches around the intricate wheel. Each coach swings independently and will even turn 360 degrees. The coach cars are each detailed with little openings for windows and a rounded center roof. The supports to the wheel are accurate, the structure of the wheel correctly portrayed.
The six porcelain medallions each depict a much-loved area/monument of Paris: the Champs Elysees, the bridge (pont) Alexandre III, le Petit Palais, la Tour Eiffel, Champ de Mars and the Porte d'Exposition. Two little pincushions (with antique straight pins) are placed at the front and the back, between the six porcelain medallions. There is a brass banner that reads, "Souvenir Exposition Paris, 1900"
The base of the piece is covered in a moss green velvet. The underside is of paper board. The interior of the base is of wood.
It is in excellent condition. The wheel turns (halfway), it has all the original cars and porcelain medallions. The green velvet is worn and darkened, but that is expected with the age of the piece. It measures: 6 1/4" tall, the base 6" in diameter, the ferris wheel 5 1/2" by 4 1/2".
It is a precious little treasure.
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Fine 18th and 19th century French smalls: Layaways Welcome