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The mother of pearl cover boards of this exquisite carnet de bal reflect all colors of the rainbow. Accented by a very fine hand cut silver overlay frame, it is an elegant accessory from the late 19th century. It originates from a Parisian estate ("Madame R") and dates towards 1880.
The carnet de bal originated in the 18th century and became widespread in 19th century Vienna (especially at the massive balls before Lent). They were used by a woman to record the names of the gentlemen with whom she intended to dance each successive dance at a formal ball. After the ball they served a lovely memory book from a magical night.
The exquisite carnet has two thick hand cut planks of mother of pearl which serve for the cover boards. A hand cut silver mounted frame (1/4") is a delicate lace work in silver with tiny arabesques, leaves and flowers. The central hand cut silver cartouche has the engraved initials of "CD" in manuscript. The back mother of pearl board has been left unadorned to feature the amazing patina of the mother of pearl.
The interior is lined with rose colored moire silk. There is a wide silk loop which holds the pencil. The little book still remains inside, with a handsome engraved "scene galant" at the center of an elaborate cartouche. There are no words written except for the last page "Je t'aime" with a hand drawn heart (this was written during our century). The spine is covered in deep blue velvet.
The carnet is in very good antique condition: The velvet has worn with age but is still intact, no cracks or chips to the mother of pearl, the interior still intact with no fading. It measures: 3 3/4" x 2 3/8" and is 1/4" thick. Please note that the mother of pearl and silver are both very reflective and reflect shadows and images from the photographic stand.
It is a luxurious and romantic bit of Parisian history and a lovely decorative accessory from the late 19th century.
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Antique Nineteenth Century French Mother of Pearl Carnet De Bal with Silver Overlay
$275 USD SALE PENDING
18th and 19th Century French Antiques
Fine French Small Antiques; Gilded Bronze, Objets of Vertu, Antique Books, Napoleon III, Porte Montre, Cast Bronze