One of the few remaining confectioner's packaging boxes, made as a presentation and keepsake casket to be used for jewelry once the chocolates and bonbons were consumed. A uniquely beautiful (if slightly imperfect) c.1840-70 French confectioner's presentation box, loaded with ormolu decoration over a hand painted heavy paper outer covering, and set with a fine hand painted porcelain plaque (Old Paris, perhaps Sevres). Still has the old original paper interior but without any confectioner's stamp still in place so we can't tell you which of the famed 19th century confectioners initially sold this one to house their world class chocolates. Yes, this was originally a box a customer could choose from many similarly made lightweight wood or card boxes, and could order the exact selection of confections to fill the interior (in their small paper wraps or cups, protecting the paper linging). The boxes were traditional, meant as the souvenir of the gift of chocolates. The giveaway is the light weight. They're typically made of either layered card (compressed cardboard), or of balsa or similar very light woods, then covered elaborately. In their time, a less costly box than those hardwood boxes the ebanistes of Paris were making, but one ornate and lovely enough to thrill the recipient, once he or she had consumed the sweets within. The early history of chocolate and French chocolatiers is so interesting, and collecting the early confection boxes is a wonderful idea.
Very good for age and type, these are rare to find. They were not made to last centuries, so much as to last decades, and most did not survive. This one shows some loss to the dark (formerly green) velvet panels, as you can see, but the papier surface is in very nice condition and the ormolu is dark but lovely, too. And that porcelain plaque remains vibrant and beautiful in its mount. No chips nor cracks. Raised gold jeweling on that hand painted cartouche, as well. The box is fitted with a working lock, but we do not have the old original key at listing time. The interior paper lining is complete but has small imperfections at the fold, and you see a few pencil and crayon marks within, but it's quite clean, no odors. One corner at back of box missing its velvet covering (visible in our photos). Measurements are noted on the photos. Box is 8.5" x 4.25" front to back, and 4.5" high.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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