An old one! This is a c.1810 French sewing box, Palais Royal boutique item for sure, with the mother of pearl sewing implements, 18k gold trim on thimble, needle case, scissors and also the cap of the perfect little scent bottle. Remarkable when we find these as complete with original implements and tools as this one. Missing only one silk winder (3 remain) and a bodkin (threading needle, probably would have been in 18k gold, too). The old Palais Royal items are always tops in popularity and are difficult to find. We just sold a pair of scissors only for $495. People try to fit out a box they've bought that misses a piece or two. I'm quite certain if we parted this one out as many sellers do, we'd end up with a higher total selling price, but it's just against my ethics to separate a set that has stayed together for over 200 years like this one has. The box is rough, particularly around the bottom edges. Veneers have chipped away here or there. Still, this is the way it's come through an incredibly long history. A pleasure to keep it going on. Box is 7 1/2" long, 5 1/8" wide and 3" tall when closed. Handle and trim straps are old steel.
The interior tray and inside is really in great condition. Beneath that lift-out velvet tray is a very clean white-papered compartment for patterns, projects, etc., (sorry I missed getting a photo, but it's excellent). No breaks in handles on scissors (rare), though you can see they have the usual issues of old steel blades' corrosion. Still sharp, functional. The same with stiletto - a little corrosion, but sharp and no breaks in the mother of pearl. There is a crochet hood on end of that stiletto, too. Scent bottle is pristine, with a tiny original stopper still there and stuck. I did not spend the time soaking it in oil to loosen that stopper. Will leave it to you. The cap is without damage or dent and is 18k gold, as is the trim panels on scissors, band on needle case, trim on thimble. No damage or breaks to the pieces though you can see a small hairline on thimble. And the tool that has retractable pick-blades also has an ear wax spoon on one end, but it's a bit stuck and I didn't want to pry it out of the space between the mother of pearl sides. The box is rough, shows a lot of age (c.1810, remember), and has chips to the old veneers. Photos show all. One more issue, no warping but there is no attending key at listing time, and the lock pin is set at lock so it doesn't drop into the lock plate completely to make that front edge flat. I'll ask Rick to fiddle with it and he'll have it so it closes cleanly. If we can find a working key, we'll annotate the listing and add a little to the cost.
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Antique French Palais Royal c.1810 Sewing Box, Tools, 18k, Mother of Pearl Scissors, Thimble, etc
$837 $1,195 SALE