A favorite decorative style of Marie-Antoinette, the layered paint and varnish method developed by the "Brothers Martin" is known simply as 'vernis martin'. We see it in the Palace at Versailles in decorating, walls, furnishings such as desks and even sedan chairs, etc., and it was also very popular on small precious object de vitrine or items given as gifts of friendship like this little perfume case or etui. Still retaining the original 2 cut crystal vials within, each complete with original stopper and one still has the silver cap, though the other has been lost to the ages. The silver, if we could capture the tiniest punch marks, is certainly sterling silver. The marks are too tiny to get a clear impression of them, however. The outer covering of the wooden case is thickly layered in oil paint and varnish, creating a surface that almost seems like leather. The finished result of the layering is the warm tones and depth of the decorative finish and almost a 3-D feel to the painting.
Very good to excellent for age and type, the case has little if any loss and no breaks. The silver does have sterling control punch marks but they are too tiny for us to capture a photo clearly. It is sterling silver. The one cap is missing to one of the original crystal perfume vials. For some reason my photographer neglected to pull out the vials and photograph them, so we'll need to do so and add an image to this listing. They are hand made, cut, are in pristine condition, but they do fit tightly in the openings, which is probably why they did not get removed for photos. They do remove, however, and we'll add so you can see them both in full. Come back! This would be c.1760-1810, more likely 1760s.
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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