This listing is for a lovely 19th Century French black lacquer papier mache calling card tray decorated with eglomise medallion in the center depicting the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. The eglomise medallion is set flush with the bottom of the tray which is further decorated with embossed swing handle. Around the outside border of the tray are six hand painted designs connected at outer border with painted swag decoration. The handle is brass with an antiqued finish.
Dimensions: 3/8" high and 8 3/8" in diameter and with handle extended tray measures approximately 3 1/2" high. Weighs 7.8 ounces.
Condition: This unusual eglomise calling card tray is in very good Estate condition reflecting only minor signs of normal wear commensurate with age. The eglomise medallion is in very good condition with sharp view and no damage to the glass and the painted decoration on the front of the tray reflects only minor wear and aging. There are a couple of minor chips on the back edge although only one is noticed from the front at a side scallop point just below the left side of handle. The brass handle has darkened from wear and age.
Novelty items such as this calling card tray were popular tourist items at shops on the Palais Royal when wealthy travelers visited Paris during the Grand Tour era and were often purchased as souvenirs. Many eglomise items haven't survived in good condition and nice examples are getting hard to find. Eglomise is a French term referring to the process of applying a design and gilding onto the back of a glass panel to produce a mirror finish. However, the technique of reverse painting on glass actually dates back to pre-Roman eras. Over time, the term eglomise has come to be used to describe nearly any process that involves reverse painting on glass.