This is an elegantly simple antique sterling silver ladies necessaire and aide memoire. It was made to provide a lady with the few small items she might need, along with a place to make notes for shopping and so on. This lovely item is made by Foster and Bailey. It is made of heavy sterling silver (this weighs in at 4.55 troy ounces) and there is a a purple stone (probably an amethyst) set in the catch. The exterior is plain and it is monogrammed on one side with the initials MEB and on the other with the date 1913. It is suspended from a sturdy chain with a finger ring.
The interior is lined with very fine brown leather. On one side there is a coin purse. In the center there is a mirror and on the back of this there is a sheet of celluloid which still retains notes written by the original owner. A tiny silver pencil is held on the side of this which still has lead in it. It is marked on the edge F&B Sterling 5506 and the pencil is also marked Sterling.
It measures 3 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches. It is in good vintage condition. There are dents to the corners and a dimple in the silver. Also there are surface scratches. I have tried to get a good picture of the worst of these. The mirror is clouded and the catch works but needs to be manually moved back into place in order to hold it closed.
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Antique and Vintage Jewelry and Decorative Arts
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