"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 is superb - a view of Vittel. Vittel is, historically, a place where people went for the famed mineral water and its healing power. Even now, Vittel is a top bottled water resource, however is owned as a business by Nestle (don't you hate that!). Vittel, the town, is located in the Vosges department in Grand Est in northeastern France.
Souvenir of Vittel and the spa mineral waters that drew tourists and patrons, c. 1880-1900. There is one very tiny flea bite nip on one of the beveled side panels, more to be felt with a fingertip than to be seen. Otherwise no chips or flaws to the 5 panels of thick beveled glass. The pressed brass framework is in very good condition, as well, age and type considered and clasp is holding tight. Measurements are 3" long, 2 1/8" deep front to back, and 2 1/2" tall when closed in display. It retains the original padded silk bottom padded lining inside, though it is deteriorated as you can see. The mirrored inside of the lid is still reflective and the hinge and clasp, both working fine. A charming box!
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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