Magnificent & rare antique Belle Epoque or Victorian era P. Sormani marked 15" vanity or travel case, a Gladstone shaped bag in Epi style leather with tooled or embossed royal crown over “AN” monogram, a host of original contents inside including 14-18k gold on sterling silver ‘vermeil’ topped jars & bottles, an easel vanity mirror, curling iron heater box & MORE and all in fabulous condition! The bag itself is in wonderful condition, not a single tear in the ribbed Epi style leather though there is some fading to the original black or very dark green finish, no separated seams and no repairs or restorations that I can see! Even the handle is intact and strong. The gilt bronze or brass lock works, two original keys still attached to the handle and with the fob cover. The inner lock mechanism is marked “P. Sormani, 10 Rue Charlot, Paris”. Most, if not all, of the vermeil sterling parts are also marked “Sormani” along with the French Minerve or Minerva hallmark, the tiny number “1” within those marks means they’re all in .950 silver (95% pure and higher than the .925 standard for “sterling” silver). The silversmith marks on them are for Emile Riviera, Paris circa 1888. The interior is fitted to hold a variety of vanity implements, brushes, jars, cologne or perfume bottles and is also lined in a deep green leather. There are many original contents but some empty fittings or compartments, really a fabulous bag in and of itself. The top has two sides that open completely to make accessing the contents as easy as possible. The handle is strong enough for use so, go ahead and spoil yourself! AND, judging from the tooled and engraved crowns in this set, it was previously owned by royalty! A marvelous accessory and/or decorative piece and by one of the more well known French makers, Paul SORMANI (1817-1877). Paul Sormani established his shop in 1847 at 7 Cemetery Saint Nicolas, then in 1854 at 114 rue du Temple and finally in 1867 at 10 rue Charlot in Paris. The Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, brought his firm to its pinnacle by decorating their palaces with the creations of Paul Sormani.
Very good condition. The exterior is in great shape given its age, etc. and has no tears, no seam separations and no restorations that I can see though, as noted above, there is some wear or fading to the original black or dark green dyed finish. The clasp, etc. works great AND it has the two original keys attached to the handle. There is some visible wear to the vermeil or gold plating on the sterling silver pieces but no dents or damage. One of the three matching cologne/perfume bottles has a break and resulting cracking to the side of its body but it is original and the damage occurred on its way to us from France. Several other pieces inside including a writing folio and vanity implements though some may be missing, possibly an empty jar fitting or two. See pictures for all measurements.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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