A superb gaming chest from the Napoleon III era (c.1850-70s) and obviously by quality, made by one of the very best makers, too. Even though the lock plate is unmarked on this one, the quality is all there. That elevates both the history and the value of this elegant box and set, of course, as would it if it bore the name TAHAN, Vervelle, Paul Sormani. Those were perhaps the 4 finest names in such opulent boxes and goods, each attaining highest honors at Expos and each makers to Kings, Emperors, the elite of the era. One can only guess who might have once enjoyed gaming with this set. If only it would tell us its story. We have no provenance to speak of. The set is just in from Paris, however. The gaming chips and the old antique set of playing cards, which are themselves quite valuable, and a game marker are all included with the satin-finish box. The box is a fine burled walnut, and solid wood through, it's as pretty on the inside as outside. Will be a pleasure to bring to your next poker night. Stunning fine old wood, inlaid beautifully with top quality stringing and a cartouche to match which has been engraved with a monogram, elaborate and centered by a T. The lock works and we do have the original working key (rare to do these days). The gaming chips (jetons) are all the old originals plus partials from another set (ones with colored borders are original to this box, the others added in, I'm sure). I have not counted them but it is not a full complete set (from experience). The old set of cards is a 20th century add-in, a sheet-litho printed set that has then been machine-cut. . I didn't even count to see if it's complete but I think perhaps not quite.
Very good condition throughout. No lift or loss to the inlay cartouche nor the stringing. Wood is a satin finish, elegant old grain and is, I believe, Rosewood, a high exotic wood. There are some rises to the old grain, which you can view in our images. But just a gorgeous box, all in all. No warp, closes smoothly and while a tiny chip or two might be found on the mother of pearl inlays, none are missing. All stringing is complete, too. The interior is fitted out already for your gaming with all you see therein. Appears to me to be just a partial set of gaming chips, so you can fill in with modern chips should you wish to. All of the lift-out chip trays (jetons trays) and the ante are complete though show age and use. I can see that our photographer captured one tray with its divider not slid into its recesses. It does so easily and well and will not be separated when our customer receives it. Should not have photographed it with that one tray not yet worked. Sorry! The cards are wonderful 19th century ones, hand made litho in several colors, and cut from a large printed sheet. I have not researched the value on this one set but we've had single decks go well above $500 at auction and know that sometimes the cards represent a special value. I'm sorry - I sent this to warehouse before counting the playing cards. Will do so and annotate soon. Note the old tarif stamps that still are adhered to the underside. Measurements noted on the photos (12" x 9.25" and 2.25" high when closed. Working lock and key is present.
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Antique French Napoleon III Boulle and Burled Wood Gaming Box, Chest, 19th c. Playing Cards and Chips, Lock with Key
$767 $1,095 SALE