The little box, in a lovely egg shape, was designed for holding a rosary. This example originates from Paris and dates from 1860-1870.
The curvaceous shape is achieved with perfectly selected pieces of mother of pearl shell. They have been mounted into a brass frames, with the addition of a bas relief metal band on the bottom half. The 3/8" wide band has a design of scrolls and arabesques. The top mount includes a half heart lip for opening the purse. There is a fine, working hinge.
It is just the right size for fitting into a dainty gloved hand or dress pocket: 1 7/8" x 1 1/4". It is 2 1/4" tall when opened, the interior measures: 7/8" deep. It remains in very good and solid condition with no cracks or chips and no noticeable wear.
It is a wonderful conversation piece; it can be used for it's original purpose or would be a luxurious little addition to a silver dressing tray vignette.
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French Antiques: 19th Century French Smalls: Gilded Figural Bronze Accessories, Majolica, Engravings, Chocolate Molds