L'Eglise de la Madeleine is a Roman Catholic church occupying a commanding position in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, and has long been a favorite architectural marvel for tourists. This was the case in the early to mid-1800s, as Grand Tour travelers visited Paris, and the early tourists came home with an embarrassment of riches in mementos of the visits. Most popular among those from Paris were these back-painted glass or eglomise paintings set in fine French art glass and encased in shrouds of elaborate and opulently engraved brass fittings. Some were sewing boxes, others were perfume bottles and this one is a powder jar. I'm quite certain that was how it was originally sold, and probably had a fluffy white ostrich down powder puff with it. The item was also likely initially purchased from one of the elegant boutiques of the old Palais Royal, former Palace of Cardinal Richelieu. You know the story. We love these remains of nearly 200 years ago, and the stories they tell in surviving. I have a personal collection of these that includes views of all my favorite Paris architectural marvels. You should definitely create your own. One might argue this is a bonboniere, by the way, and perhaps it is. You could certainly enjoy using it as such or as a table service item at your next very French dinner party. But meantime, it's going to display and delight, right?
Very good to excellent, without any chips to the fine cranberry opaline glass body nor lid, and no missing brass ormolu. Rising to 3.75" tall, it is nearly 3" in diameter - a powder jar, no doubt. The hand painted miniature painting is, as noted, the Madeleine, one of the most famous buildings in Paris. And while you can see there is a tiny water mark around its edges (please do not wash these with water!!!) it is otherwise undamaged. The cover glass is fine.