This large and stunningly beautiful large treasure measures 4” tall, and 4 1/2 inches deep front to back. It dates towards 1870 and originates from a fine Parisian estate.
This type of brass/bronze box were fashionable accessories for the very chic dressing tables in Parisian homes of the period. Heavily gilded, with an historical or custom portrait; the boxes seemed as shimmering jewels themselves.
This one has a lovely shape, being wider at the back and narrower in the front. It stands on four very ornamental feet which have a grape and leaf motif. The body of the box curves at the center of the three front panels. Each panel is engraved “au pointelle” with minuscule raised dots which give a mesmerizing pattern. Tiny flowers and leaves are engraved on top of this; they seem to float across the field of dots. Wide bands of arabesques and scrolls serve almost as a necklace across the top of the bottom bands. A 1/4” wide band finishes the bottom, ornamented with a repeating raised leaf pattern.
The lid has a fancy lip shaped clasp. A wide textured gilded band has another repeating pattern of flowers and ribbons. The lid is embellished with the same elegant “au pointelle” design with tiny flowers and scallops which float on top. There are two gilded ormolu nosegays to the left and right of the portrait with a frame of arabesques and scrolls connecting them.
The portrait is hand painted on a celluloid wafer. This type of material gives a lighter and more luminous appearance under the painted image. There is a glass wafer on top of the portrait. The portrait is signed, “Danelli”. The interior of the box is luscious in garnet red tufted silk with little silk buttons.
Other measurements are: front across 4 1/2” : back across 5 1/2”, interior depth, 1 3/4”; portrait, 2 5/8” x 1 7/8”. It is in very good antique condition with no noted issues.
The many different textures and ormolu adornments give a feeling of metal tapestry. It is an exceptional example from the period of Napoleon III.
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18th and 19th Century French Antiques
Fine French Small Antiques; Gilded Bronze, Objets of Vertu, Antique Books, Napoleon III, Porte Montre, Cast Bronze