Chocolate! What could possibly hold more intrigue and respect in centuries past in France than confections and chocolatier's treats. Remember, cocoa (chocolate) was a relatively recent import, 1700s, and along with sugar were more precious ounce per ounce than gold. The trade of making finest chocolate confections remains an art in France, and one with a long and lauded mystique and history. Is it any wonder then, that the containers made as presentation boxes for top chocolate makers were as elegant as the confections - and meant to be the souvenir kept to remind one of both the giver of the gift, and of the unique pleasure of taste of the confections. This is one such! Still bearing the paper label inside, the leather clad wood casket was the presentation chest for Paris confiseur chocolatier, FOURBET, then located at 162, rue St Antoine. The era would be Napoleon III (c.1850-70). Trimmed out in pressed brass and cast brass and steel cabochons, it was kept far far longer than the vast majority of these. This one is large, 8 3/4" long - full measurements noted on photos. The very early ones are smaller, and they increase in size as chocolate became more accessible to the public.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, these boxes are typically light in weight, the box either card or wood like balsa, paper interior (this one is exceptionally clean and nice) and note that it would have had a working lock with key. We no longer have the key. Photos from all sides, please note any small missing trim paper along bottom edge and a shadow of one along top front. No missing cabochons which look like steel but might be marcasite. Other top names in Chocolate include perhaps the most opulent boxes - Boissier. Some of these firms are still in business. There is a Boissier museum in Paris - I've sold several boxes to them.