We love these precious little boxes, each one so unique and fabulous. This small treasure once held tiny candies from a Parisian confisserie. It dates from 1880-1890.
It is demure in size, measuring 3 1/8" x 2 1/8" x 7/8" thick. The front and back "covers" are of rippled mercury glass which are set into a gilded,textured paper frame. The outer edges and body of the box are made of fine strong paper board (very typical of this period). The sides of the box are gilded and made to look like pages of a book. The "spine" of the little book/box has a "gaufre" appearance so typical of fine French book edging in a gilded baroque design. The top mirror has a beautiful die-cut of a pretty young lady wearing flowers and pearls.
The interior has a small mirror on the inside of the front "cover". It has a gilded, textured paper frame. The interior is of plain white paper board, measuring 3/4" deep. It has survived in amazing and sound condition with light wear in accordance with age (very light wear to gilt edges and opening hinge). The mirrors have no cracks or chips.
These little boxes are so delicate that is astonishing they survive the long passage of time. This is a very unusual box, looking convincingly enough like a fancy book and yet having the whimsical additions of the rippled mercury glass. It would be charming on a desk or vanity setting.