Billet doux! A superb one, this! Complete and undamaged and still with the 2 18k gold bands - 5 5/8" long, 3/4" diameter. Shows a courting couple and a musician set in fields of flowers against a deep hunter green ground. Aren't these truly just amazing museum pieces, all. The last photos shows more of my collection of "Billet doux", since I'm working up 2 recent acquisitions today. The term directly translates to "sweet notes", these are the cases, etui, c.1750s, into which love notes and arrangements between lovers were rolled and tucked then sent by courier. Courtly love. Entirely hand painted little works of art, Vernis Martin layering of paint and varnish - Marie-Antoinette's favorite decorative style. Most have bands of 18k gold. Imagine what stories they could tell!
Very good to excellent condition throughout, no chips, cracks, loss of painted surface, and it has both of the original 18k gold bands. No damage, either, to the inset tube as you can see. The paintings are charming period scenes of courting on main body, and a musician painted there on the top portion. 5 5/8" long, 3/4" in diameter. The main body is wood.