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RARE Antique French Sterling Silver Fitted Automobile Vanity Caddy , Wood - Fitted by G Keller, PARIS
The early automobiles for the very elite, those with drivers and sumptuous fitted interiors for the likes of the folks on Downton Abbey - those had kits like this mounted to the backside of the driver's seat, or the side panels near seating areas in back and were for the final 'toilette' or make-up and vanity needs of the person being couriered about. The sets rarely survived, and almost never intact with all or even most of their fitted items. The one you see here is the most complete we've had, and only the 4th I've ever seen come to market (we bought 3). As you can see, this one would be a bit to the French Art Deco taste and era, c.1910. The set is maker marked by one of Paris' top purveyors of fine accessories and silver, Gustave Keller, PARIS. Founded in 1856 by Gustave Keller, the firm continued in operation through 1920s, having garnered Gold medal in many Paris Expositions (silversmith). With early 1900s automobiles and the Belle Epoch penchant for luxury, we'd put this set between c.1890-1920. You will note the many leather goods along with the silver and crystal vanity items, to include card case, cigarette case and lighter case, wallet and a leather-backed mirror. There are also 2 orignal jeweled cape pins. All silver carries French control marks for .800/1000 pure silver or higher (Minerve would be .950/1000 and boar's head in profile is .800/1000 pure silver). The caddy is, itself, a grand work of art in cabinetry, in fine burled wood trimmed out with silver. Remarkable find! For the car collectors out there!
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. There would have been a mounting bar/apparatus on backside of the caddy which is no longer there (you see the holes for screw-mounting). The leather parts show a little wear but mostly it seems as if this set has sat unused in some collector's elegant Duesenburg or Rolls Royce, doesn't it. Our photos show it well and also note the measurements.
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San Marcos, CA
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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