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French "Grand Tour" Memento Trinket Box
The much-loved Parisian landmark shimmers from the center of this charming little box. It dates from 1900-1910.
Small boxes such as this were sold along all the popular tourist routes during the "Grand Tour". Traveling nobility adored picking up small mementos for family and friends. Always featuring a renowned landmark from the city center, these little items give us an invaluable snapshot photo of a specific landmark at a specific time in history.
The beautiful Arc de Triomphe been placed under a thick piece of glass on the top of this little box. The Arc de Triomphe image has iridescent accents on the bottom statuary, along the top and middle portions. The Haussman buildings in the background are also accented in the same manner. The streets behind the great monument are empty, a site that is hardly ever seen today.
The box itself is made up of paper board, which has been treated to resemble fine leather. The interior is lined with percoline, which also mimics fine leather. The hinge is of book binding fabric tape, as was typically used in books from this era. The bottom inside portion is divided into four compartments, for holding stamps, clips, jewelry etc. The bottom still holds the original etiquette ticket which reads "au Louvre Paris".
It measures: 5 1/2" long 4" deep and 1" tall. It is in very good condition for it's age. There is the usual wear to the corners and top, the fabric hinge has a small separation at the right side (this does not effect the soundness of opening and shutting the lid), and some of the leather grain pattern has worn off. The center picture however, is still bright and clear, with little fading at all.
It is a lovely treasure from a romantic past. It is interesting that even today, we love this great monument as much as noble ladies and gentlemen of the nineteenth century.
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