A lovely souvenir box from 1900, it was once sold as a souvenir in remembrance of the World Fair of 1900 in Paris.
This genre of box documented historic monuments between the years of 1890 and 1910. They were popular with the traveling public during the "Grand Tour" as they were easily tucked away in a suitcase and they bore amazing eglomise images of sights enjoyed by travelers.
This charming box is composed of five very thick pieces of beveled glass. Each pane is set into place with delicate gilded brass "dentelle" mounts. The box stands on four little dainty gilded brass feet. A richly colored image of the Grand Palais during the period of the 1900 fair is placed under the thick glass of the lid. Accents of gilt and silver reflect light through the glass giving a glittering appearance to the building and waterfalls. There is an "S" shaped clasp and a fine hinge at the back. The interior lid has a reflective panel which served as a sort of mirror. There is a pretty cushion at the bottom of the box which is covered in pale blue silk (frayed) and fitted with covered silk buttons. The very bottom of the box is of a metal panel set into the frame of the box structure.
It is in very good antique condition: There is a scratch to the glass at the top left corner of the top glass (slanting from the left spire diagonally toward the bottom corner). The eglomise scene is fully intact with original colors. The box stands steady on the tabletop. The dentelle ormolu is intact and in good order. We have not polished the ormolu, this can be easily done. It measures: 2 1/2" x 3" wide, 2 1/2" deep.
It is a precious bit of history which proudly documents a monumental moment in Parisian history.