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Antique French Dore Bronze 2nd Empire Stamps Box, Napoleon III Era, c.1850s
The earliest stamps were probably c.1840 and from the UK, and those used in France would have been printed in about 1849. Suddenly the need for special small stamps boxes and holders gave us little charming items like this one, and the small boxes with slanted compartments meant for use with these novel new postage stamps. By the time this one was made, during the reign of Napoleon III (Louis-Napoleon, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte and the last Emperor of France), the earlier Napoleonic aesthetic known as French Empire was in revival, and this elegant little box has all the decorative aspects of that revival, helping us further to date it. I would say it is not later than 1870, not earlier than 1850s. Splendid item, wonderful for stamp collectors or those who just love the old Empire style in their own decor and accents. We know it is a stamps box by the slanted interior compartments, by the way. I guess it's harder to understand that with our photographer's photos since there is not a side-long view that would reveal it. These early stamp boxes now populate museum collections, stamp collector's displays, and one of the boutiques along the street between Drouot Metro stop and the famed auction house by the same name, Paris. I look in on that philatelist's shop each time I walk by. Lovely place to visit if you have not yet.
Very good condition for age and type, no dents and closes smoothly, tightly. The upper lid has the typical darkened mat-finish to it and is highlighted by the requisite appliqués of the Empire aesthetic, which repeat in the palmettes that surround the box's perimeter. Raised on elegant little legs, and topped by an oak leaf and acorn garland & ribbon appliqué, it is a superb offering. Please do pardon the little bit of dust that shows in our greatly enlarged photos. We find the digital photos and lights capture everything - particularly dust. Sorry! The panel is undamaged and will be very dust-free upon arrival to our buyer.
Petite at 2.5" x 1.75" and 1.25" tall when closed.
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Susan Dean, San Marcos, CA
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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