In the Louis-Philippe era trim, that ruffled wood edging and boulle work helps us date this exquisite old wedding or trousseau chest to the 1820-30s. Surviving really quite well, it is as beautiful inside as out. This is one of the largest we've ever located, at 24" x 17" and 11" tall, it's a magnificent example of the kind of chests made for multiple use - marriage or trousseau chest referred to as "boite a' challes" because the elegant imported cashmere table covers were often stored in them. A gentleman would have used one as a desk, perhaps, with drawers inside and plenty of room. We have a rare selection of these extra large French boxes. This is the largest. Colorful boulle work on top and a crown monogram on the cartouche tell us this one was owned by an elite, a titled person whose monogram is shown. Open to a bit of interpretation, we're sure the first letter is "M". Inlays of pearlescent mother of pearl and shell bring color to the lid, too, along with the engraved brass inlays. A glorious old treasure, museum quality.
Very good condition for age and type, this one is not perfect. You can see there is an age crack traversing the lid at the mid-point. Not damage per se, but the result of shrinkage of the old wood. I have this one on display in my own home and that line is really not distracting, but we do want you to notice it's there. Also there is a rippled trim board missing on the backside, along the hinges. You can review it in our photos. A little more loss to the carved ripple-trim in form of chips along that bottom edge, again mostly on backside. Raised on 4 carved ball legs, it's an awesome large box. Interior is finished beautifully in the old hardwood, and it has two drawers. The stringing and brass/mother of pearl and shell inlays are all there, flat and solid. A really stunning old one, and price considers its flaws.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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