Have always been drawn to the myriad of 18th to 19th century Grand Tour souvenir items, being a Master Tourist, myself. And these little sail boats always catch my eye. The mid-1800s mother of pearl industry produced all manner of souvenirs from these brilliantly rainbow-pearlescent half shells and pieces of shell. We have 'egg' shaped jewelry caskets, upright 'egg' in ormolu that are mechanized and open to reveal perfume bottles or sewing implements, small carriages pulled by machine-pressed 3D animals, and etc., The little boats sometimes have compass, inkwell, or are simple like this one and serve as a pocket watch stand with 'vide pooch' boat base (vide pooch quite literally means 'empty pocket' and is a French item to store jewelry or coins, pocket items overnight at one's bedside). Sometimes these were souvenirs of a seaside visit and are noted with the name of the resort area. This one is plain and has just the hook upon which you can hang your favorite pocket watch. Dainty and charming, no breaks to the shell sails, and just one chip to the shell that forms the base (view images).
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. One chip along the rim of the shell that is the base, visible in our images. Measurements also noted on images.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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