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RARE 1700s Antique French Empire 18k Solid Gold Wax Seal, Holds Sealing Wax - Needle Case
Some would call this fine 18th century 18k solid gold etui a needle case, and it's actually larger than the typical 17th century needle case, plus it has a "T and C" monogram on the end that assures me it is a fine sealing wax etui instead, with the monogrammed seal on end. We've had these in slightly larger form, some jeweled and some not. I've seen the same size in museums, noted as being sealing wax case or etui, so we're quite certain this is a writer's tool rather than a sewing tool. But you could certainly use it as a needle case if you'd like. In it's origin, it would have held a slender long candle of sealing wax, and it would have been one tool in a larger writer's compendium, probably an item from a dressing/travel trousse de voyage not unlike the one made for Napoleon by the lauded French silversmith/goldsmith, Biennais. You'll find that large travel compendium with its layers upon layers of all the essentials any elegant traveler might need, from dining plates to sewing sets and even ear wax spoons, etc., and this is what we have here - a bit from a large late 1700s to as late as 1808 trousse de encrit (writer's box) or trousse de voyage (travel vanity and necessities box). I've tested it and confirmed 18k solid gold, yellow in color, but it also has that rooster's head (coq) that is the assay mark for 18k gold, guarantee that it was made before 1809, and that it is 18k solid gold.
Very good to excellent condition throughout. It has no damage whatsoever. As if someone just separated it from the fitting into which it must have lain for 200+ years, probably unused. There is no evidence of use at all. Beautiful guilloche or machined patterning on the case, it is French Empire for certain, and made in the period before or when Napoleon was expanding his Empire. Measurements noted on photos, and it weighs 10 grams.
I'll be listing a larger one, probably older, that is 12k solid gold (42.15 grams) and in its original shagreen protective travel case, to be sold separately. Look for that one, too.
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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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