Marie Antoinette's intitials appear on this unusual display piece that came out of the decorating studio of Carl Thieme in Dresden, Germany. The mark on the bottom has been in use since 1901, however we would estimate this piece was decorated in the 1940's to 1950's. It was intended as an elegant dispenser for cigarettes.
By the way, in case you didn't know....it wasn't uncommon for a good hostess (in "the day") to offer cigarettes in sterling boxes or displays like this one. Etiquette books of the era encouraged hostesses to even provide clean ash trays on the dinner table so their guests could better enjoy their meals with a good cigarette between courses! We're not making that up....try thumbing through a vintage hostess/etiquette book at a flea market or on your grandmother's book shelf.
Although our current sensibility on smoking, in general, tends to shun items such as this...it is hard to ignore such a lovely item. Our thoughts on an excellent and acceptable re-purposing is to tuck this prominently on an end table, or coffee table of a person who crochets! It will make her hooks and needles easily available..... and pretty.
A person who does a significant amount of calligraphy abides in our household and we know for a fact that it also will hold some of her favorite pens. Artist's brushes fit, too!
For those of you who haunt gourmet candy stores, you know about the thin chocolate coated candy sticks! Now THAT would bring it back to its original use as an elegant dispenser to elicit "oooo's" and "ahhh's" from a guest!
While you are at it, peruse our other hand painted Dresden porcelain items and select another plate or small basket to contain nuts or candies....you'll be setting a very distinctive table for your guests AND you'll be adding some lovely and uncommon items to your porcelain collection.
Thieme's studio painted this display piece in florals mimicking the well loved patterns of Meissen, Sevres and Vienna. He employed experienced artisans who were especially skilled in the area of porcelain painting.
This Rococo Revival styled and elaborately decorated dispenser displays individually painted botanical florals and meticulously hand applied gold embellishments.
No chips, flakes, cracks, hairlines or gilt wear.
5 5/8" x 3 1/2" (14.3 x 8.9cm)
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