Under French Empress Eugenie's aesthetic leadership, the Napoleon III era (c.1850-70) numerous styles found prominence world-wide. One such was the papier mache household goods, usually decorated in figures against a black or brown ground, Knights or similar historical figures, scenery in play. This style is represented in many of the old French papier mache items. While the English papier mache is quite different, the materials used are about the same - densely pressed fine pulped wood fibers suffused with protein adhesives some say included blood. The papier mache was nothing like the light-weight fragile later incarnation, but was strong and dense, suitable for use in all sorts of household things from small jewelry boxes to large chairs, cabinets. This particular use in France is one that survives usually in parts rather than complete sets: A table crumb-brush and tray set. Here you see it complete. They're great for either use or display. This is a favorite - rich hand applied gold enamel work against the black, accented by red here and there. Unusual wood-grain finish has a transfer motif with knight on horse, rocaille of gold. Boar bristles on the curved brush.
Very good condition for age and type. Photos show it well as it is. Not pristine, but in really good form for this type material. No chips, and the brush has been cleaned and sanitized for use. Original matching pair, original to one another.