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Antique Napoleon III French Bronze Dore (Gilded Bronze) Coffre
A spectacular example from an era of opulence and grace, this large coffre/box comes from Paris and dates from 1860-1870.
Many beautiful and unique boxes were created during the period of Napoleon III. This entirely gilded example displays the classic design elements from the period. The box sits on four feet which are in the shape of an Egyptian man sitting in a chair, with a pair of wings spanning from behind the chair. The body is ornamented by four wide bands: the bottom band with a raised "fleuron" and dot pattern, the middle band with a molded pattern featuring winged griffins, urns, swags and cornucopia. The two remaining bands have a raised pattern of circles and stars. The box lid has an outer band with a raised design of fleurons and fleur de lis. There are three decorative bands forming the molding around the domed lid. The domed lid has a textured pattern of tiny diamonds. There are three large ornaments across the top which are hand cut and detailed. At the center is a beautiful young lady carrying grapes in a basket and giving a bunch of grapes to a saucy little cherub (who is tugging at her sash).On either side of her are two large sphinx standing on arabesques.
The interior is lined with fine deep emerald green velvet The lid opens with a half-heart shaped handle. The box measures:9 1/4" across,5" deep and 3 3/4" tall (to middle top of dome). The interior is 1 1/2" deep. The box is in fine and solid condition.
Being entirely gilded, with every inch covered in beautiful design, the coffre has a jewel-like quality from all angles. It is the top of luxury and fine craftsmanship from the period of Napoleon III.