A charming little Napoleon III era (c.1850-70s) or Victorian coin purse, the kind included in a child's 1st Communion commemorative gift set in France in the 1800s. This one is remarkably unscathed by time, and even the old silk interior is excellent in condition and appearance. The top and bottom panels of the coin purse are of carved mother of pearl and they're brilliantly pearlescent in a shimmer of color. Accented in sterling silver, the little purse seems more like a piece of jewelry than a purse. But these were meant to hold a little coinage to be taken as offering for Church box, and were prized mementos of a right of passage for young French children. Many survive, but few as pristinely as this one. I should have touched up the silver with a q-tip, I can see in our greatly enlarged photos. The purse shows beautifully in normal size, to the naked eye (or with my glasses), and even so, I will polish that silver trim a bit before it goes out to its next owner. Isn't it a gorgeous little thing. The monogram is hand-engraved on the cartouche and is A. S. Would be lovely as a gift idea for a bride's "something old", don't you agree?
Very good to excellent throughout. A slight bit of tarnish showing on the old silver, which I promise to polish a bit (sorry - it really only shows up in the super-enlarged photos). The coin purse measurements are noted on the photos, but it is 2.75" x 2" and .75" when empty, expanding another .5" almost once filled (leather baffle sides expand it). There are tiny cabochons set into the sterling silver flowers on top, but I haven't yet decided if they're garnets or just what. Take a look.
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