It is wonderful to find something of this great age still with all of it's original parts-even it's key. The bronze casket is comprised of a gold & silver plated openwork pattern with solid patterned rims. Thru the openwork & on the base you can see the original dark gold (think deep butterscotch) velveteen fabric. On all four sides they applied bronze mounts containing Sevres porcelain mini plaques. This is the reason they are called Sevres perfume caskets. We will not remove the plaque mounts to verify a Sevres mark on the back of the porcelain. But the plaques are in the easily recognized coloration of Sevres from that time period. The casket's interior lid & sides are a silk fabric with braided fabric trim. The frame to hold the bottles is comprised of some form of thick paper covered again in the velveteen, silk & braided trim. The blown bottles are delightful & so feminine. They are cased with a light tone of cranberry over clear. They were then hand cut to clear, hand finished & hand painted with gold neck rims & a floral motif. Now on to condition. Please keep in mind this casket is an approx, grand, 185 years old!
The bronze is in excellent condition with no missing pieces, rips, deep dents or repairs. The handle moves well & will stand on it's own firmly. The hinges are all original with out repair. The bronze mounts holding the plaques are firmly attached. I found an approx 1/10" indentation to a rim by an openwork area. The casket has a light rock when sitting on my table. When I press down so three base corners sit firmly the fourth corner stands a hair less then an 1/8" off the table. The silver plate has grayed with age. When you see those dark metal areas on my photos that is the silver areas. With a loop you can plainly confirm it was originally silver. The gold plate is not brassy in color, it is a rich, deep tone of gold. It is surprisingly well intact with less then expected age spotting.
The mini Sevres porcelain plaques have no cracks or chips. The long ones are approx 2 5/16" x 7/16". The ovals are approx 7/8" x 11/16". The multi colored hand painted floral motifs are bright & intact. At a guess I would say they are 99.8% there. None are identical although they use a lot of the same flowers/colors. The hand painted gold framing around the floral motifs is still bright with a rich tone. It has just a bit of that age darkening in spots. With my loop I did find some partial missing gold. It is not apparent with your eye as the continuous line of framing is undisturbed, it is just a little narrower in a couple tiny spots.
The exterior velveteen is intact with no rips. It of course has loss of nap due to wear & cleaning of metal. On one side of the casket you can see a space of 1/8" wide between what ever the velveteen is adhered to & the vertical side rim of bronze frame. See left side of photo #3- those white < marks show the approx edge of the velveteen.
Now to the interior. The silk on the lid is intact with some tiny moth holes that range from a speck to a 1/4" long. That long rectangle in the center top is loose on one side as well as some of the braid. Of the four bottom interior walls two are missing their silk. The other two have any or all of: frayed, loose or missing silk. The paper frame to hold the bottles is still intact. It's silk, velveteen & braid all have areas of fraying, loose fabric, loss of nap & a 3/4" long separation line in the velveteen.
The original matching bottles are just wonderful. They again are all hand cut & finished! The body is comprised of two clear panels on each side with vertical frames of the light cranberry. Even the four corners have a cut clear panel giving them a beveled edge instead of a sharp angle edge. The neck & shoulders are comprised of a total of eight panels of clear with the cranberry color being strong on the neck panel rims & subtly disappearing by the time it reached the bottom of the shoulder. The top rim of the bottle is hand cut. Both have a makers flaw on the rim flange. On bottle #1 flaw effects two of the eight angles on the rim flange. Bottle #2 has a curve in the cut of the bottom of the side rim of the flange. We can only guess that the craftsman ran into some bubble/impurity in glass or chipped the rim & then cut it as best he could. They are definitely original to manufacture as can be confirmed by viewing the gold with a loop. The exterior of the rim on bottle #1 has two chips. A 1/10" long x 1/16" tall on the side of the rim & a 1/16" long x 1/32" wide on the top of the rim. If you rub the bottles with your fingers you can find the normal occasional pesky flea bite. The stoppers are in excellent condition. Both have a few of those normal pesky flea bites as well as normal nicks to the bottom rim of the plugs. Stopper to bottle #1 has an approx 1/20" nick to an interior cut facet & a 3/32" long x 1/32" wide chip to the rim of the bottom of the plug. Both bottles were then accented with hand painted gold. At a guess I would estimate the gold to be 99.5% there. The shoulders have a lovely running circle of a flower & leaf pattern. The neck flange/rims were also painted gold. The artist put a matching flower & two sets of leaves on the top of the stopper. Then the stoppers are a touch different. The top of the stopper on bottle #1 has a series of little gold dots in each of the four clear wide panels-stopper # 2 doesn't. The reason for this is two different artists painted the bottles. I can tell this because bottle #1 has a smaller, more delicate, lighter touch on the shoulders floral motif. Also I have viewed the other stopper with a loop & there is no glass repair that removed the gold!
The key fits the lock, but the casket only locks closed if the key is left in. The bottles measure approx. 3 1/8" tall. The casket base due to it's bottom slanted rim measures 5 3/4" long x 3 3/8" wide. The body of the casket measures 5 1/8" x 2 5/8". It's interior measures approx. 4 3/4" long x 2 1/8" wide. The casket stands 4 1/2" tall at it's center top. The stationary rings that the handle is attached to increases the height by 1/2" to 4 3/4". A fabulous all original antique perfume casket for a collection. It would also make a great decorator piece as the lid will stay up at different angles to allow you to see the top Sevres plaque as well as into the interior to see the bottles.
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