An exceptional and intriguing example, it dates from about 1870 and comes from Paris. We picture the watch holder with a watch for display only, and are selling the holder only, not the watch.
At first glance, one would never know that the beautifully gilded miniature French chalet opens up to reveal a holder for a treasured pocket watch. The chalet sits on a gilded bronze base with four round feet. An inset piece of marble serves as the base. There are two "staircases" which have painted red and white stripes at the center. The "cisele" (hand cut) design of the railings is intricate. The front door has a molded, gilded bronze frame. The door face is of grey stone. The four windows have hand cut panes and shutters, accented in green and white. The window panes are painted red.
The second floor repeats the "cisele" (hand cut) railing and fancy detailed windows. There is a hand cut ornament just under the eve of the house with a central fleur de lis, swags and circles. There are two raised windows on either side, accented in white, green and red. The roof has fancy cornice with hand cut zig-zag bronze dore molding. The roof repeats a design to mimic round clay tiles and has accents of red and white stripes.
The second floor (or top of the box) lifts up to reveal the gilded watch holder. The interior of the box is lined with emerald green silk.
The chalet measures 4 3/4" tall to center of roof (6 1/2" when opened), 4" wide (to widest side rails, and 3 3/4" deep. The base measures 5 1/8" x 4 1/8". The interior watch holder measures 1 7/8" in diameter. It remains in very good and working condition.
This is one of the most incredible watch holders that we have found to date. The extravagent detailing and cleverness of the design is unsurpassable. It is a rare and unique example.
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Fine French Small Antiques: Eighteenth Century Smalls, Gilded Bronze, Objets of Vertu, Napoleon III