"Eglomise" is the term applied to the back-painted glass panels in these old French souvenirs. Most of them date 1800s, though they were made up through about 1910 in this manner, too. Later ones often have a photo set in instead. The early ones are our favorites, sometimes a screened ink-line like drawing that is then hand colored, or sometimes a full miniature painting original, all worked on the back side of a panel or convex plaque of glass. There are sometimes open spots left and a final step is application of thin mother of pearl panels so that the windows shimmer with pearlescent light, or architectural details are pearl - you can see how fun those are. I'm listing a whole collection from this genre, one at a time, so will just give the barest detail of each as we move through the collection.
THIS one quite unique, made in commemoration or celebration of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair rather than showing Grand Tour scenes of Paris or France monuments as we normally are thrilled to find. Definitely made in France but for an American market with the eglomise top showing the Electricity Building, or Palace of Electricity. Definitely one for the collectors, whether it be these fabulous eglomise grand tour miniature vitrines or World Fair memorabilia that are your love... Don't miss it!
Very good condition for age and type, sometimes what appears to be a bubble slightly separates the painting from the glass, and this is the case on this one in the rear right corner (seen in images), but it still shows very well and the colorful painting is wonderful. A couple of small corner chips on a beveled glass panel or two (one on lower right corner of front panel) but mostly hidden or obscured by the ormolu tabs holding them in place (there are 5 panels of thick bevel-cut glass). The ormolu framework is all intact, the lining has been replaced in a red satin. See pictures for measurements.