A unique find, wandering French markets years ago, something I've never seen before - it is a papier mache hard-press case or etui to hold carte de visite photos, made as an advertisement for this particular photographer, circa 1850-70. Still complete with the advertising carte de visite of the photographer, also being used as his business card. An enterprising gentleman, the case notes that he has twice won gold medals for his large photography. Of course, carte de visite is the very first paper image invented in the history of photography, and the small 2" x 4" format sold very well with people using them as their calling card, collecting images of their family members, etc., It was the first popularly distributed photo image, multiples made easily from a single glass negative. By 1870, the larger format, Cabinet card photos, were to replace these in popularity and use. A little marketing genius, this F. Cairol. And a fun addition to any photography collector's collection. Measurements are noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition throughout, age and type considered. It's really completely free of damage but a tiny rub to one spot on bottom of lower body of the case, front side. You see it greatly enlarged. Other than that small spot, the case has no chips, breaks, and retains it's gold embossed printing and bright claret red color lacquer. No warp or misfit, and the customer stamp is still partially evident on bottom. I'm sure the customer's order of his photos would have come inside the case. Fun, no? We have a couple of wonderful antique photo albums from France, as well, so look for those, sold separately.