Rare and outstanding French Limoges Victorian enamel portrait and gilt ormolu vinaigrette. Exquisite French enamelled portrait of a beautiful woman in 18th century costume on a raised, red enameled plaque, framed by a gadrooned border and elaborate, ornate grillwork in gold ormolu. Ormolu onlays of flowers and leaves on red enamelled surround. The sides of this vinaigrette box are repoussed with double garlands of acanthus leaves, with a tiny gadrooned border under the rim of the lid. The vinaigrette opens to reveal an exquisitely intricate, elaborate gold foliate grillwork, framed with a gold ormolu braided retaining ring. A fabric pad soaked in perfume scent or smelling salts would have been placed inside the box, with the scent conveniently available whether the box was open or closed. If a stronger scent was desired, the box could have been opened, if not, the scent was available thru the intricately ornate open grillwork in the lid framing the portrait. The vinaigrette measures just over 2" in diameter and stands 3/4" tall. This vinaigrette was used by a wealthy woman of class to ward off the malodorous stench of nineteenth century streets. Excellent condition, with the most minuscule pinprick of loss at the edge, hardly and issue, and we would absolutely describe this rare vinaigrette as in mint condition. The base is incised Made In France, most certainly made in the Limoges region. A very rare and magnificent example, unlike any we have seen.
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