TAHAN of Paris is perhaps the most sought after of all the box/cabinet maker's works out of 19th century France, and this one is a prime example of why, and of the exceptional craftsmanship, artistry, and elegance of the form. I'm a box collector from way way back. I think my first antique I bought myself was a rather simple English sewing box when I was in London as a grad student. And I'm still drawn to them. My box table continues to evolve. This one is on it right now. The painting up top is, by most evaluations, a decorative commission by Sevres, France artists, normally engaged in painting ceramics or creating kiln-fired enamels in floral like this. The box form is that of a gloves box from the era. Each purpose had its own shape. The drop down front would allow one to select from a stack of kid or fine wool or silk gloves. The lock works and the original key remains with the box. Even the interior has brass stringing, all fully intact.
Excellent condition for age and type. I find nothing missing nor wrong with the kingwood veneer, the opulently brass pencill-edged darker contrast trim wood, nor the interior. Even has it's original silk satin cover. The painting is on a thin wafer, and if you look extremely closely and at a certain angle, you can see that there is a small clean hairline partially across it below center, on a slight angle. Not really visible in general view, but I wish to point it out as the single flaw I'm able to find on this stunning museum quality glove or table box. Oh, wait. I do believe there is also one tiny outer edge of a bow on the brass border of the cartouche up top, left side, that is missing. The box is so opulent, I have only just spotted that slight imperfection. So 2 very innocuous tiny flaws for its nearly 200 years existence. Not so bad! Measurements noted on the photos, but it is large at 11 1/4" long. Wonderful as a documents box, for your old ribbon-bound love or family letters, as well. No odors, no damage, gorgeous kingwood grain, color.