Billet doux! An unusual one, this! Complete and undamaged and still with the 2 18k gold bands - 5 1/4" long, 3/4" diameter. This one is 'en paile' (straw veneer) that has a surface woven metallic thread rising in ridges that spiral around the etui. . 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, this a split straw parquet with unique woven metallic thread which would once have looked quite gold. Moany billet doux do have bands of 18k gold. A fascinating item, lost to time. Imagine what stories they could tell!
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. The etui has no chips, cracks, a little loss of straw veneer surface, and it has both of the original painted straw gold bands. No damage, either, to the inset tube as you can see. . 5 5/8" long, 3/4" in diameter. The main body is wood.