A gold mounted rock crystal box, the circular rock crystal mounted to base and lid with gold, the lid surrounded by red gold inlaid with white gold four petal flower motifs, separated by oval panels with yellow gold laurel leaf borders, the base with red gold ground and yellow gold scrolled pattern, bearing French marks for Pierre Denis Hoart, Paris 1775, measuring approximately 5.4cm in diameter and 3.1cm depth, gross weight 74.5 grams.
French box in very excellent condition. Unmarked tested as 18 ct gold.
This charming and regal box comes from the collection of Bentley & Skinner, the London jewellers by appointment to both Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities (1859) begins in 1775 when this box was created with the famous line “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times”. This delightful rock crystal box represents the “best of times” that Dickens refers to in his text. Created a year after the coronation of King Louis XVI and five years after his marriage to Marie Antoinette, this box demonstrates the opulence and beauty of the late 18th-century French court. An absolutely wonderful and historic object.
Should you choose to make this purchase we would be delighted to send it to you in a Bentley & Skinner handmade leather case packed in a gift-wrapped Bentley & Skinner black and gold presentation box. Shortly afterwards we will send you on a valuation for insurance purposes for your reference and safekeeping.
A Gold Mounted Rock Crystal Box
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