This is a stunning example from the latter part of the Napoleon III period . It originates from Paris, from the estate of “Monsieur W”. (French estate sales rarely mention the name of the person unless they had amassed a very famous and notable collection. Only the initial of the surname is used.)
The box is of wood and has been lacquered in black as was highest of vogue in the era of Napoleon III.. It stands on four gilded brass round feet. The lid has a central copper sculpted mount with a beautiful design of flowers , leaves and buds. The lock mount is also of sculpted copper with an ornate design of leaves, branches and tendrils.
The corners have fine gilded brass mounts in the form of wide rectangular straps. Each strap is engraved with flowers and leaves and has two fine gilded brass studs. The lid is ornamented with four gilded brass straps as well (half of one strap missing at the back lid panel....not really noticeable unless you are looking directly at it).
The lid opens with fine hinges. There is a working lock with a key. The inside of the box is covered with silver foiled paper, this is worn through to the wood in many places but is the original interior of the box. There is the original sellers etiquette ticket on the bottom panel.
The box is in very good antique condition. There is a small separation at the top left corner of the lid (typical with age and temperature changes), there is scratching to the lacquer as is expected with age and use. The copper and brass can be polished to gleaming, we left this in the condition we found it with the lovely darkened patina. The central copper medallion has two copper pins not present, these can be replaced, we are leaving this decision to the final owner (the medallion is secure without them). The interior is worn with age but original. It measures: 8” across, 5” deep, 5” tall and 3 1/2” deep (interior). The central copper medallion measures 3 1/2” x 2 1/2”.
It is a striking box with an unusual mix of both brass and copper mounts.
Large Antique French Black Lacquer Box with Copper and BrassOrmolu