This small box with over one hundred of tiny, hand-cut pieces of mother of pearl is a little jewel. It comes from Paris and dates from 1870-1880.
The body of the box is made of wood which has been lacquered in an ebony black. An intricate puzzle-like design of mother of pearl completely covers the lid. The lid has a 1" sloping edge which seems to make the middle panel raise up. Between each mother of pearl piece, tiny hand painted gilt dots fill the black space and give the effect of little pieces of gold. A central transfer medallion depicts a large bouquet of purple and pink flowers.
The three sides, front, right and left are adorned in the same manner, with the black margins left plain. Three medallions repeat the transfer medallion from the lid. The back panel has been left solid black, with a hand painted gilt medallion at the center. The bottom lip has tiny inlaid pieces of mother of pearl (kind of like a path) connected by hand painted leaf outlines.
The lid opens and is hinged with fine brass hinges. There is a brass lock and key (working). The interior is lined with ivory silk which is tufted and has large silk covered buttons. Silk braid line the top and bottom edges. The box measures: 3 1/4" table top to top middle center, 6 1/2" wide, 4 1/2" deep and the inside 1 1/4" deep. The walls of the bottom of the box measure 8/16" thick.
It remains in exceptional condition for it's age.