A beautifully detailed eglomise scene depicts a young lady being presented to her intended beau’s parents. The box originates from the Champagne region of France and dates towards 1860.
This genre of box saw great popularity in the mid nineteenth century. They were individually made at a small atelier (workshop). These boxes were embellished with a marvelous reverse painting. Reverse painting required a very skilled and steady hand as each detailed layer is placed on in reverse: the facial features painted first, then the front clothing, back clothing, furniture, and finally the background.
The colors in this scene are rich with garnet red, French blue, rust and pale yellow. The scene depicts a country house and it’s furnishings (which are simple and minimal). The young lady has a serene countenance, the young man an air of contentment and pride. The slightly domed glass is mounted into a brass frame. This serves over a paper board edge to form the lid. The bottom is of hard paper board. Dresden paper ornaments the sides of the box. There is a brass ring mount on the very bottom edge.
The dimensions are: diameter of 3 1/4” and stands 3/4” tall. It has a circumference of 10 1/2”. It is in good antique condition: there are slight bends to the brass mount as the top as is typical with age and use. The scene has a slight bit of color loss to the walls of the room at the left edge (10 o’clock position). The glass has no chips or cracks. The Dresden paper has darkened and has wear as is typical with age and use.
It is a charming box from a simpler time. It would be lovely on a dressing table, to hold small jewels or treasured bits.
Antique French Bonbon Box, Boite a Dragee with Eglomise Scene