An exquisite little treasure, this! Definitely a little c.1740-70 French patch box, entirely made in mother of pearl thin enough to see through, surmounted by a silver frame set with seed pearls (1 missing) and holding a perfect little portrait miniature of Cupid in the act of letting a bird free of its cage (a symbol for lost virginity). A token of love, it has a 12k hinge and thumb rest 'opener'. The small frame up top is sterling silver, no mark (very small items were not always marked) and a perfect little original convex cover glass to protect the charming scene which is painted on gouache on wafer. One wonders how a fragile small piece like this could possible survive nearly 300 years.
Very good to excellent condition throughout. There is a single tiny flaw which I've noted with 'x', rear right corner of the top/lid of the box, a very tiny flake chip on the mother of pearl. Look at the interior - the slender mother of pearl lip surrounding the inner bottom - not a flaw there. Oh, as mentioned, one tiny seed pearl is missing from its mount to the sides of the cupid portrait, far right. Those seed pearls are 1 mm - an amazing little work of art. One wonders for whom it was created. Louis XIV to XVI era, found in France.