This genre of coffre/box was popular in Paris from 1860-1870. The combination of the rich wood and the magnificent animal and human sculptural copper mounts give the box the rich and opulent bearing so beloved by Parisian nobility.
Made of solid oak, the box has a beautiful sculptural body. The oval center is set on top of a six sided skirt. The skirt has an ormolu frame of tiny connected balls around the outside edge. There are six copper figural busts at each side. These busts are very detailed, with delicate facial expressions.
The central box portion has a metal/copper lock (with very fancy key, working). There are four large metal/copper 2-D busts of a fox with mouth open. The lid has a four sided outer skirt which is curved upward to meet a flat central top. There is a copper cartouche at the front center (for engraved initials) and four 2-D medallions at each corner of morning glory flowers and leaves. The central flat panel has a very large 5" x 3") 2-D copper/metal ornamental mount featuring large leaves and morning glories. The beaded ormolu frame repeats on all edges.
The box stands on four brass feet. The lid is attached with a metal hinge. The bottom interior of the box is lined with creme patterned silk. The coffre measures: 9 1/4" wide, 7" deep and 4 1/8" high. The interior measures 2 1/4" deep. It survives in very good condition.
The extensive amount of figural copper/metal work gives this coffre a unique and extravagent presence. The quality of workmanship and design is indicative of the fine accessories of late 19th century France.
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