In the same shape and size as the typical cigar cases made of tortoise shell during the same era, Napoleon III, Victorian era, the surprise is that it opens to reveal itself as a purse or rather uniquely fitted minaudière. Moire silk lining with mirror and 2 wallet-like compartments centered by a lipstick holder. It is possible it might have come with a small powder and rouge pot in those side pockets. So unique, though. I used to use my cigar cases like this - the very ornate ones - as evening purses. I'd tuck in a credit card, my key, some business cards for after-hours mixers, and it made conversation-starter effortless. My collection has had perhaps 100 of them over time. But this is the only one fitted out as a purse.
Very good condition, looks beautiful as can be, and the interior is pristine. There are no bug bites to the fine old tortoise shell, and clasp is fine. But it does have a flaw. You'll see that it must have been dropped at some point on its hinge side. Look there for the old evidence of a restoration, but also a chip. Still, so unique, and it's quite likely no one will ever notice that without it being pointed out as I have for you here. The purse aspect makes it unique for any collector.
IMPORTANT NOTE regarding antique tortoise shell or ivory: We are great supporters of protection for endangered species in our modern world. We never buy or sell anything 100 years or newer; we donate to anti-poaching organizations; we don't hunt; we conserve in ways that impact global warming (we're totally solar at home), knowing those measures also protect the animals in the wild today. We also recognize the vast cultural history we preserve with our care and reverence for these antique objects, and agree with CITES that objects over 100 years of age have nothing whatsoever to do with species depletion in our current world.
Our offering exceeds the age limitation of "more than 100 years of age", and is well within the exemption for CITES regulation. If imported, met the CITES regulation. This item will be handled and shipped from our Utah business, and is not available for shipment internationally, nor within the USA to California, NY, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington if it contains ivory, sorry. Please see our small print for more details.