The French tea caddies are rather rarer that English, and of course it is because the French traditionally had little use for tea and preferred coffee, so the few that we do see around are normally considered made for export or by commission. The French boxes, however, from the Napoleon III era are some of the most elegant and beautiful cabinetry you'll ever see. And this fine double well tea caddy is one such. Could have expected to see a signature of TAHAN or Vervelle or Giroux on that lock plate, so fine is the quality. But if one of those makers did this one, it is one of their unsigned works. Measurement: 9" long, 5" wide and 4.5" tall
Very good to excellent condition throughout, with both the interior lids still in place. There is ample brainwork pique and inlays to elevate the form and appeal, and none of it is missing. The cartouche has not yet been monogrammed, so you could do so if you wish to have your own. Beautiful burled hardwood veneer inlaid with ornate brass work, stringing, and a heavy brass pencil edging. Normally something of all that brass work would be missing, but this one even has it inside the lid and both well lids. And there remains much of the old foil linings in the wells, too. I see no chips or breaks, cracks in the old wood. Some light surface abraison here or there but not much. A little nip here or there on the sharp edges of wood at those canted corners. Working lock is in place, but we have not got the old key to this one. If we are able to find one to work in the lock, we'll annotate the listing. But at this moment, priced without a key.