A spectacular example with exquisite detailing of mythology figures. It originates from Paris and dates between 1850-1860.
The cast bronze box has an unusual shape, with rectangular front and back side panels with push out from the oval shape. The box sits on four feet which are in the form of a Pharaoh with large outspread wings. The body is intricately ornamented by four wide bands: the bottom band with a raised “fleuron” and dot pattern, the middle band with a finely cast pattern of 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 an interesting lightly raised, 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 little cherub (who is tugging at her sash). Flanking the young lady at each side are two fantastic large sphinx who stand on floating arabesques.
The interior is lined with fine deep emerald green velvet (not original, replaced somewhere the box's history). The lid opens with a lip 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 solid and very good antique condition. It has some light tarnish a a touch of veris gris on one side (see photo). We chose not to polish it. The gilding reflects the photographic lights in red flashes in places. The patina is of a true gilt color.
Being entirely gilded, with every inch covered in texture and fine elements of design; the box has a jewel-like quality from all angles. It is a very fine example which is not often found in today's antique market.
Fine Antique French Napoleon III Gilded Bronze Box with Figural Mounts