A glorious dresser box from the era of Napoleon III (1850-1870), it features a charming songbird sitting on a nest of twigs. It originates from Paris, France. Cast boxes were popular during this period and often featured birds and forest creatures.
The box is heavy, a cast bronze work. The feet are dainty, starting smaller at the bottom and rising with a fluted column to join the box body. The body is stunning with raised arabesques, flowers, leaves and half scallop shells. There is a large crest shaped lock plate at the front panel (no key) and a matching crest plate at the reverse panel. The two sides each have a central sculptural rose. The lid has a raised central medallion which supports a charming figural scene. Raised flowers and leaves form a rectangular festoon around the bird's nest. The nest consists of small branches carefully gathered and arranged. The pretty bird is just settling down in her nest, wings still outstretched in landing. Her body is detailed and her upturned face adorable.
The interior is lined with the original rose colored silk with it's matching silk and green braid. The measurements are: 5" x 4" x 3" deep, measuring to the top of the bird the box is 5 1/2" tall. The bird measures 2" long and 1" high.
It remains in very good antique condition: the hinge works properly, it is solid and sturdy, all elements of original design are still present, some darkening to silk and braid as is typical with age and use. The braid is loose in some areas, this can be resewn or glue as wished by the final owner.
It is a spectacular box.
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Fine French Small Antiques; Gilded Bronze, Objets of Vertu, Antique Books, Napoleon III, Porte Montre, Cast Bronze