Collected over 4 decades, these 18th century pocket 'necessaire' have fascinated me and won my heart. My collection is all coming to market now, and this is one of my favorites from the collections. A superb c.1750s Chatelaine necessaire, 18k gold here and there, and a few parts like knife handle facing and case test 12k gold. I am, frankly, disinclined to scrape deeper on the case, and will offer it as heavily 12k gold plated. The gem-like etui is perfectly kept and missing nothing in its interior 'necessities'. You see the original writing stylus with 14k gold mount, a 12k gold handled pocket knife, a single leaf writing tablet with an 18k gold decorative rivet, a pair of 18k gold handled scissors, an 18k gold toothpick and ear wax spoon combination tool. I did not test the inner fitting into which they all fit, but it certainly has more the look of karat gold. In total, the etui and contents represent a true museum piece. A deep bas relief exterior gold worked in a decorative manner leaning to Chinoise. These were a mainstay of noble society throughout Europe and UK, Georgian era - King Louis XV to XVI era, France. "Necessities" tucked into a vest pocket for travel. Full measurements are noted on the photos, but it is small as these go, and early. Just 3.5" long, plus the hinged bale up top for use on chatelaine, as noted.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. I find no chips nor cracks on the stunning old enamel work, and the etui opens and closes smoothly and without flaw. There are no flaws notable on the pieces that remain with the etui apart from the very little evidence of age to the steel parts of the scissors, which show very little natural corrosion of centuries. They remain very sharp. Tiny marks can be seen inside the 18k gold handles, and I can't seem to photo/capture them, but it's an early French gold mark. There are no flaws at all in the etui, and the knife blade remains sharp and with very little corrosion,. Notice the rounded tip, which would indicate an earlier rather than later 18th century piece. Remarkable set in stunning condition. I find one other in gold at market just now, tagged over $9000, as comparison. I have loved it long while it has stayed with me. Is it your turn next?