"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 wonderful - a view of the famous French landmark Le Mont-Saint Michel and inscribed both along the top and lower left corner “Mont St Michel". Le Mont-Saint-Michel is an island commune in Normandy, France, located just off the country's northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times and since the 8th century AD has been the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name. The structural composition of the town exemplifies the feudal society that constructed it: on top, God, the abbey and monastery; below, the great halls; then stores and housing; and at the bottom, outside the walls, houses for fishermen and farmers. The commune's position, just 600 meters from land, made it accessible at low tide to the many pilgrims to its abbey, but defensible as an incoming tide stranded, drove off, or drowned would-be assailants. The Mont remained unconquered during the Hundred Years' War; a small garrison fended off a full attack by the English in 1433. The reverse benefits of its natural defence were not lost on Louis XI, who turned the Mont into a prison. Thereafter the abbey began to be used more regularly as a jail during the Ancien Régime.
This little souvenir casket is in fine condition with just a few small dark marks to the colorful painted scene. Thick beveled glass on all sides with a gilt ormolu framework and loads of visual appeal! These little souvenir boxes are great for today’s Grand Tour traveler, too! Visit some of these landmarks and then come visit us for your genuine antique souvenir AND they look wonderful grouped together and displayed. We have quite a few available and more to come so, travel and enjoy, leave the souvenirs to us.
Very good condition for age and type. There is a small flash chip to the left side panel (bottom rear edge) and one the front middle of the top panel where the clasp is located. The pressed brass framework is in very good condition, as well, age and type considered and clasp is holding tight. Measurements are 3 7/8" wide, 2 5/8" deep front to back, and 2 3/4" tall when closed in display. It retains the original padded silk bottom padded lining inside, though it is tattered/deteriorated as you can see. The metal ‘mirrored' inside of the lid is still reflective and the hinge and clasp, both working fine.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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