This pretty vanity item is an unusual combination of a small barometer and jewelry or ring holder. It originates from Paris and dates from 1890-1900.
Amusing items such as this were popular with the touring public in the late 19th century. Various combinations of watch holders, jewelry boxes and other novelty vanity items were presented in creative and unique forms.
This example is made of gilded metal. It stands on three legs which are in the form of a swirling vine. The legs have a hammered texture to mimic enhance the appearance. There are tendrils and half round "grape" shapes just under the porcelain tray. The tray has a pink luster or pearlized finish. It is accented in hand-painted gilt. The little barometer is on a metal background which has the words "Thermometer, Bains and Centigrade Reaumur written around the increment measure. (while we have had it in the office, the mercury has stayed right around 20-22 degrees). The barometer is framed by gilded brass/metal leaves, vines and grapes. The vines are textured in the same manner as the base. At the bottom of the porcelain tray is the stamped patent mark, "Brevete Brianchoy, Paris".
It measures:6 1/2" tall, 5 1/4" across the front legs, 3 1/2" deep. The porcelain tray measures: 3 1/2" across and 2" front to back; the barometer plate measures: 3" tall and 1 1/4" wide. It survives in good antique condition, with no visible cracks or chips to the porcelain tray. It stands sturdy and retains the original design elements.
It is a delightful little vanity item, just perfect for displaying a treasured ring or necklace.
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French Antiques: 19th Century French Smalls: Gilded Figural Bronze Accessories, Majolica, Engravings, Chocolate Molds