I love the old chocolates or confections gift boxes! This is another early 1800s French one, in the 'eglomise' style we know to have been a French industry, and yet I rather think it shows an image of a church in England. I'm not certain of which one, and would have to look a bit since I didn't automatically recognize it. If you do, let me know. Might be in France. But the decorators and packaging companies working these type of items entirely by hand in the 1800s did work up international business. We do see English scenes done by French artisans in this back-painted glass image souvenir method. That said, it is or was a box for bonbons, early and very pricey chocolate confections. The French still have the tradition of elegant boxes and presentation for their goods, don't they, but it's a very long tradition, indeed. Charming! The box is a decorated cardboard box with that back-painted glass painting up top as cartouche. It's survived quite well, and while this one doesn't have a label for the candies firm, we're certain of its initial function. We've long collected and sold them, and know histories of several of the top French chocolatiers including Boissier, etc., and will be listing several fabulous old Boissier marked confections boxes soon (sold separately). Fun to collect! I mean, who doesn't love chocolates and/or the history of that magical concoction. Very expensive delicacy in its early years, these souvenir boxes were meant to be a memento of the gift to be kept and cherished.
Very good condition for age and type. Our photos show you that there is a tiny bit of verdigris on the metal panels or heavy foil that covers the top of the box. The box is, itself, a cardboard box, hand made with metal foil and special paper covering, no doubt individually presented in their own paper cups. The back-painted miniature painting is backed with mother of pearl so the building shimmers, as well. And the brass outer frame and cartouche rest atop a dark silk velvet oval. There is one small white flaw on that old velvet, visible in our photos. Not sure, seems perhaps like a little glue and might remove with a bit of tender careful scraping. There is a section of one side, lid, where the liner separates, and you can see that in the photos we've provided. A tiny toothpick with some adhesive, then holding it or bracing with rubber band is all that spot will need. I just neglected to do it before photos were completed. Measurements noted on the photos.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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