I think my first antique was a simple 19th c. box and I have not ever stopped collecting them - only the elaborateness, contents and beauty has become a true passion, always curious to see what's inside. A spectacular example of the finest boxes in history, a French Napoleon III era kingwood and ebony marquetry sewing box or jewelry box (fitted silk interior has posts for a missing tray) - one of the most beautiful of these. The quality and condition is such, I expected to see an engraved lock plate crediting TAHAN, or Vervelle, P. Sormani, or one of the other handful of top eschaton cabinetry makers of 19th century France. But this one is unsigned. Not all were signed. It certainly is of that top gold medal quality. It seems they all competed particularly during the Napoleon III era, c.1850-70s, and I'm certain this one hails from that time. Rounged corners with heavy brass pencil edging, accented with marquetry of brass, ebony, and perhaps a little ivory. Even the working lock and key remain. So fine! Measurements noted in full on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, the box is 150-170 or so years of age, and even the old original turquoise silk sating lining is remarkable. Covered posts at the corners tell us there would have been a lift-out tray which is now missing. Might it have been fitted out for sewing implements? I rather expect it was, or just compartments for use as a jewelry box. Beautiful start to finish and very nicely preserved.