While this one has the wonderful look of the old papier mache boxes, it is the French style made of wood and finished to look like papier mache. They held up much better at the hinges and with less instability to the material, the pearl inlays are usually more intact. And that is the case with this fine larger sized casket. Dates to the Napoleon III era (c.1850-70, roughly) and the rise in popularity of the Chinoiserie style of decorating favored by the last French Empress, Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III (Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew). The style of decoration can be seen in full in a few rooms of the Fontainbleau Palace, and often are featured in the Musee Decoratif built into a wing of the Louvre with entrance off side nearest the Palais Royal. The box you see here is 10” square and is a superb example of its era and type. Stunning inlays and hand decorated on all sides, it is a work of art.
Good to very good condition for age and type, but not perfect. While it has no big corner chips we'd expect on a papier ache box (owing to it being wood), there is loss of a few bits of pearl (3 pieces missing on the lid, some cracked) to the massive amount of mother of pearl inlays, it does show age to the finish and it shows a separation line across the top where the boards are joined to make the top. View our photos fully to see what I mean. The interior has been mostly stripped of the old interior lining which would have been silk satin and padded. One can quite easily line it again and put it to use, or just enjoy it on display for the exterior splendor. All measurements and details on the photos. Priced accordingly with the condition.
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