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This beautiful box once held very expensive chocolates which were handmade by one of a handful of Parisian Chocolatiers. It is also known as a confectioner's casket. This one is exceptionally large, measuring 6 1/2" in diameter (the average round example measures 2 1/2" in diameter).
Chocolate was a very expensive item in the late 18th century, afforded only by the wealthy. The boxes that contained this precious commodity were often fashioned with as much care and consideration as the jewelry or trinket boxes of the time. This box is representative of those found from the late 1700's, and is an eglomise (back painted glass).
The painted scene is absolutely stunning. The colors are rich and the detail is exceptional. A beautiful lady, swathed in a regal crimson robe serenely plays a large harp, eyes uplifted to heaven. A small girl with angel wings holds a songbook with a dreamlike expression on her face. They sit in a room with two horns and a tambourine resting on the floor. The room seems to lead to a terrace with large white columns. In the distance a beautiful cherub sits on a cloud, with beams of yellow light radiating around him, listening to the beautiful music. The fine and carefully executed details of the faces, clothing, hands and feet is exceptional.
A brass ring is fitted at the bottom of the lid and the bottom of the box, framing the eglomise painting. The paper box has a pressed gilt design just below and above the rings. The interior of the box has a sectioned star-like piece, which separated the decadent delights it once held. The bottom of the box is green.
The box has survived in amazing condition for it's age and delicate nature. There is only slight loss to the beige paint which surrounds the central design. The interior painted scene remains bright with brilliant jewel-like colors. The brass has darkened with age. The glass is in excellent condition, no cracks or chips. The interior is in very good condition. It measures 6 1/2" in diameter and 1 1/4" tall.
Because of the delicate nature of these boxes, few survive. It is a heavenly treasure.
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Rare, Large Antique Napoleon Era Eglomise Bon Bon Box circa 1799-1815
Fine French Small Antiques; Gilded Bronze, Objets of Vertu, Antique Books, Napoleon III, Porte Montre, Cast Bronze