This very detailed box features the Lion of St. Mark (winged Lion profiles and with outspread wings). It originates from the north of France and dates towards 1880-1890.
Trinket boxes with gorgeous “upholstered” interiors were popular during this era in France. Often purchased by young suitors as presentation boxes, they would have delighted the lovely mademoiselle with their jewel-like exterior and fancy silk tufted interior (upon which a sparkling jewel would have rested).
This gorgeous box is made of silver over metal (metal argente). There is a wide repousse band (1/2”) at the bottom which features fleur de lis, leaves and berries. A fancy flower serves as the little latch for the box. It is an interesting little latch with a tongue which moves right and left to open and close the box. The lid has an overlay mount of repousse leaves, acorns and vines. There is one large central lion of St. Mark at the center with two profiles flanking at the left and right. The interior of the box is lined with blue silk, top and bottom which has tiny silk covered buttons which give a tufted effect. The lining is original.
The box is heavy for it’s demure size. It measures: 3 3/8” x 2” x 2” deep. The interior is 3/4” deep. It is in good antique condition: there is some slight loss to silvering on the sides. The interior silk is frayed and pulls away slightly from the lock area (this is a sign of use and age which could be glued: we chose to leave the history in the original condition). The silk has darkened. There is one tiny scratch to the lid (upper right side just under mounted design at the top). There are a few spots as is typical with age.
It is a perfect small box to store rings, earrings or other small pieces of jewelry. It has a regal countenance both inside and out.
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18th and 19th Century French Antiques
Purveyor of French Small Antiques: Boxes, Objets Vertu, Perfume Flacons, Fine Bindings; 18 th Century to Napoleon III Era.