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Antique French Electric Blue Opaline Glass Traveler's Cup or Tumbler, Enamel - Napoleon III Era
RARE! I have just one other of this type of early to mid-1800s picnic cups, the type that would have originally come with folding fork and spoon to tuck into the interior (wrapped in a small cloth napkin) and the set would also have been housed in a leather case. They are 'campaign' or traveling sets, based on a style that was taken into the filed by each soldier, both as a way to combat communal living disease, and as a touchstone to their home - where other soldiers might eat with their hands, the French soldier was quite civilized even in the field when it came to dining. The set tucked into a vest or uniform pocket and were used throughout the Napoleonic era and afterward as the primary meal utensils available to the men. Of course those earliest ones were rather plain, clear glass (thick and in this shape to avoid being broken). The form caught on and many made their way into the mainstream thereafter, called a 'picnic' or moveable feast type of item one could carry along in small space. These later ones, often a decorative glass tumbler or flask as you see here, would have had fine French sterling silver folding spoon and fork and perhaps even a knife. I have one set for myself that is fabulous. I keep one of these fully decked out with the utensils, but this one is an extra cup. So pretty, with thick kiln-fired enamel decoration of daisies and field flowers. Whatever its background, it's a gorgeous little personal item that will be fun to take out of your purse along with your flask, perhaps at Opera, Ballet - or that tailgate party with friends. And in the meantime, gorgeous in your lighted display vitrine!
Very good to excellent condition without any chips or cracks, no hairline and little if any loss to that wonderful thick impasto enamel painted surface.
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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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