With the original working lock and its tassel-trimmed key still in place, this extra large 20" wide and 14" deep, 12" tall late 1700s French chest is what would have been referred to as a "boite a' challes" or a box for cashmere, trouseau items, perhaps. The extra large form is repeated often in smaller sizes and you'll find that the most wonderful old Palais Royal sewing sets are usually housed in this same type of light colored wood (lemon wood or similar) chest with cut steel pique work. The bombe or casket form is that of an ancient sarcophagus. The trim work is done in a darker contrasting wood, very finely crafted throughout. This one has the original silk moire satin interior lining, and only the bottom panel has some soiling and might need a replacement panel. Easy to do, but we'll leave the decision to our buyer. The panel is an inset that can be very easily re-covered in silk to match the cream-colored silk that is original and shown. Small items would have tucked into the cross-ribbon of the interior lid, love letters, etc.. The tassel is a new addition, and is extra large, too. A good way to set off the chest and a better way to not lose the key.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, the primary flaw would be the stained bottom interior lining panel, which can be easily recovered with matching off-white silk. The other small flaws to look for in our images would be very small nicks to the old veneer at bottom edge or upper rim. There is one small piece of the veneer that has been filled, as well, and shows at the back upper/top of the lid. Beyond those very small imperfections, the casket is superb. A museum quality piece, the small hand-made cut steel pique pins seem to be a monogram, but we can't make it out. Both handles are intact, as are the old original steel claw-feet that raise the coffre (trunk) to match it's elevated elegance. A really rare fine and early French chest.
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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