This is a wonderful rare old thing. A signature on the lock plate confirms what we'd hoped. It's a chocolatier's presentation box, 19th century, from arguably the very top name in 19th century confections, chocolatier "Maison Boissier" (House of Boissier). Yes, chocolate was a rare expensive commodity then, only for the very well-to-do. The Maison Boissier began in 1827, and is still an honored name in French confections today. We've added a screen shot of the company's online shop. The boxes that can be found are in a myriad of styles and materials over the centuries. These early ones meant to be kept as the souvenir of the giver once the confections boxed within had been consumed. We've had amazing Boissier boxes over the years, and the last one we offered was purchased by the Boissier Museum, Paris. We've had them in tortoise shell, to beautifully hand painted paper-covered card boxes. A fascinating collection item, anyone who truly loves chocolate can certainly understand the opulence of the boxes to which these early chocolatiers placed their gems of confectionary elegance. Their first counter, store was on the Boulevard des Capucines. The lock appears to work, but we do not have the original key. We'll search our stash of spare antique keys in case we can match one, but at listing time there is not a key. The lock plate bears the engraved signature we look for: "Maison Boissier".
Very good to excellent for age and type, this hand carved wood Boissier box also has cast appliqué mounted and a gadroon border in metal, all in a patina of wood, looking like hand carved wood. There are 2 small bits of that top border trim that are missing (view images). Only the box is wood, beautifully crafted. The old lining remains intact in full on the inside, mostly fine but a couple of stains visible. I'm unsure if those can be cleaned. We have not tried at all. Such a treasure of history! The box is 12" x 5" and is 4" tall. The usual intended use for a box this size, once its delicious confections had been consumed, would have been as a box into which one would store ones gloves. The size serves well now for gloves, or documents, or jewelry.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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