Many beautiful boxes were created just for carrying snuff, which was a popular habit in France (both with ladies and men) in the late nineteenth century. This is beautiful enamel box, dating from 1850-1880. It comes from Paris.
The multi-curved oval shape gives the perfect frame to the hand painted portrait. Th lovely lady, with blue and white ostrich feathers in her hat, looks off to the side in thought. She wears pearls around her neck and wears a silk dress with white trim. A gold cross hangs from the center of her dress. She is finely painted and the details of her clothes and face well done. She is placed on a white background. The base of the piece is of yellow. There are metal mounts for the lid and top of the cup (we did not try to polish them, leaving the piece with it's history).
It measures :2" x 1 3/8" (at widest point across the lady's shoulders) and 7/8" tall. It remains in remarkable condition. The portrait is bright and visible, there is some minute darkening to the portions near the metal mount but this is normal with age. It is in sound condition, the lid and mounts sturdy and in working order.
It is a precious, early piece, having survived over 200 years.
Fine French Small Antiques: Eighteenth Century Smalls, Gilded Bronze, Objets of Vertu, Napoleon III