This beautiful opaline box once held fine sugar coated candies. It was purchased in Paris, and dates from “la Belle Epoque”, 1900-1910. Boxes such as this were often fashioned as gifts to be used as marriage or christening favors. They were individually made and were sold in the most expensive and fashionable “confiserie” candy stores in Paris.
It is a delicate creation, formed from two opaline wafers (called “opaline savonneuse) which have been set into a heavy (“papier gaufre”) gilded board frame. The opaline glass of the lid has a milky appearance which reflects blue and pink in the light. You can see the bubbles which remain from the hand-blown process used to create the glass. Hand painted on the lid is a colorful floral bouquet consisting of delicate purple and yellow pansies, orange mums and fanciful green leaves. The outer rim of the lid is trimmed with a gilded paper ribbon with a raised, embossed repeating pattern. The bottom of the box is ornamented in the same fashion around the sides. The opaline glass of the bottom has been left unpainted.
Because of the delicate nature, these boxes do not survive the passage of time. This example has been carefully treasured by many generations and remains in very sound and good condition. There are no visible cracks or chips to the glass of either the lid or bottom. There is very slight paint loss to the top design, but it does not detract from the overall appearance. The frame and decorative elements are in excellent condition. The lid comes off and on easily. The bottom glass could be cleaned a bit but we chose to leave that decision to the final owner. The box measures: 2 5/8” in circumference and 3/4” tall.
We are delighted that this eloquent treasure from the Romantic Era has survived more than 100 years. With the exquisite opaline glass and the gilded sides it radiates a jewel like quality which would accent any table or tray nicely.
Antique French Opaline Boite à Dragées (Candy Box)