Étienne-François de Choiseul, Duc (duke) de Choiseul, also called (until 1758) Comte (count) de Stainville, (born June 28, 1719, Lorraine, France—died May 8, 1785, Paris), French foreign minister who dominated the government of King Louis XV from 1758 to 1770.
This 18th century vest-pocket carnet du bal or aide d'memoire, etui, necessaire is in remarkably fine condition for age and type. Nearly 300 years old, it shows a portrait miniature of famed Duc de Choiseul, who effectively ran the Nation for King Louis XV. Framed in 18k gold, as is the covered cameo of gold on oppposite side, along with the 18k trim at the rim of the etui or case. The 3-leaf hinged writing tablet remains inside along with the steel stylus. The inner lip is beautifully worked in colored straw work, a favored decorative style in early-mid 1800s. The etui looks a bit like shagreen but it is a deep moss green but almost looks like Vernis Martin layering of color and varnish. The pressed 18k gold 'cameo' in the 18k gold frame on back side is backed by crimson foil. Full measurements are noted on the photos.
It seems to me the case may have initially had an 18k corner trim encircling the top and the bottom, but it displays very nicely as it is. Likely the 'favor' from a formal ball, made as the souvenir to be kept afterward. Both cover glasses are pristine, clear and crisp. The gold bands do have French 18k gold poincon, tiny as they are, guarantee for 18k. A re-mention of the likelihood of encirclement of top and bottom which seems to me would have been on this one, but has gone missing (18k edge trim or band similar to center bands). The portrait is not perfect, as you can see. Perhaps a little moisture at some point, or flaking paint touched up, but identity is clear on the old backing, and I've included his likeness as well. A very important figure in the history of France.