This fabulous antique French Marriage Display Stand jewellery case is the most complete you will find. The case has eight glass sides two of which are opaque. It has a treble hinged and double clasped door.
As an Objet d'Art this is an exceptional antique for any display especially if you want to showcase your special pieces of jewellery.
It measures 16 x 9 x 6 inches. The cushion is 7 inches wide.
It is in excellent condition. It is all original and well preserved within the glass case. The bevelled mirrors are free from cracks or chips, one mirror has a small line of oxidisation. The hinges and clasps are in good working order. The ormolu gold gilt mounts and decorations are well structured and stand independently when the display is removed from the case.
Some background information about this antique.
The Musée du Marriage at Château de Villesavin, Tour-en-Sologne, France has a magnificent display of 350 globe de mariee. I visited and found out all about this tradition which dates back to the crusaders in the thirteenth century. The mother of the bride was responsible for having it made by a jeweller. She surpassed herself with this creation because it is as fine an example as I have seen in the museum.
It was significantly symbolic of the undying love between a couple. It was presented to the couple when they became betrothed. The symbols were many and varied and reflected the aspirations and things that were important to the couple.
The bird at the top is a dove which symbolised a home maker and peace in that home. In her beak she holds an oak leaf which symbolised love, health, strength and the sturdiness of the oak.
The mirrors were symbols of fidelity. The top mirror symbolised their coming together and the sincerity of their union. The mirror was true to life because it reflected only what it sees. The lower four cornered mirror can represent their aspirations to have four children, it can also represent the number of years they courted. All the mirrors are bevelled and original to the piece.
Central to the display is the fabulous Calotte or cushion. Calotte actually means cap on which a crown is laid. On this braided cushion would sit the crown in the case of a titled lady or her marriage tiara. Interlaced with the crown would be silk flowers representing the flowers and blossoms of the orange tree. The orange tree in the days of the courtly knights represented purity. The bride was stating that she was pure when she came to her marriage. This was hugely significant because the lineage of these great families had to be beyond question. The cushion is solid and decorated with gold pansy flowers. The Pansy was the symbol of the artisans of the Palais Royal and a clear indication that this creation was made there in Paris.
This cushion is mounted on a crown which has Fleur de Lis decorations. The Fleur-de-Lis were symbolic of French Royalty and this explains the high status of this beautiful display and establishes a link to the royal household of Napoleon III.
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