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We've seen these old agate specimen boxes listed as being French, Russian and Austrian. There does seem to be a lot of misunderstanding about them. The Germans say these are from the agate-rich area Idar - Oberstein, and that they are 19th century Grand Tour and science or "curiosity Cabinet" items that were immensely popular and are entirely hand crafted. We know they've got massive visual appeal, and are thin hand-sawn and polished natural stone showing the light so beautifully through them, they rise to almost gem-like objects of jewelry. This one is set with pristine panels of banded agate, all 9 stones in superb condition Some say this quite rare larger size was sold as a jewelry or table snuff box, but most agree they were meant to be objects of art, admiration and of nature. We have several in stock, including the rich amber-colored banded agate that is my favorite. Be sure to search for them all, each sold separately. We have them from very small to oversized, and a tabletop collection of them is magnificent.
Very good to excellent condition throughout. No flaws to note. At a full 5" long, it's not only remarkable for its size, it's also in excellent undamaged condition. Each panel of the natural cut and polished natural banded agate is beveled and is free of any chips or hairlines or cracks. All four ball feet are intact and undamaged. It seems remarkable to know how old it is and how unscathed by time this one truly is. The dore bronze framework into which the cut stones are placed is also excellent and shows only a little patina of age for it's long long fragile life. A spectacular find!
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RARE Large 5" Antique Idar - Oberstein Agate Specimen Box, Casket in Dore Bronze Frame
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
Pre-HOLIDAYS SALE: All listings are 25% OFF. Layaway possible, too! Ask.