A little "vide poche" from early 1800s (the style with the little cut brass fringe is very old!), and an item that would have originally been offered, most likely, in the boutiques of the old Palais Royal, Paris. The history-rich old palace of Cardinal Richelieu, later center of culture and commerce to the very well-heeled of society, c.1700-1900, and still in full operation today, just a stone's throw from the Louvre. Along those covered promenades that flanked the center gardens, the small elegant ware-stocked boutiques would have been quite a draw. And one could purchase anything from high end whimsical items like this one, to elegant clothing, furnishings, fine sterling silver and china, opulently fitted travel chests as only the French could make them, and etc.. Little wonder we're still all fascinated with the elegant objects of the era and history. This is a little vide poche, as I said, and that's, literally, an empty pocket. It is the little item that one would have bedside into which a pocket watch, jewelry, coins and such would be deposited for the night. This one has the added feature of a thermometer, working still today. it is 4.5" overall, and all measurements will appear on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, the alabaster plinth upon which it's mounted is without damage, no chips or cracks. The old pearlescent shimmer of color on the mother of pearl half-shell (egg-like) is wonderful and there are no chips or cracks in that. A slight rub to edging that tucks under the framework just below the thermometer can be seen if you look very very hard. The frame is excellent, no breaks and is sturdy and well-mounted on the original alabaster. The blown glass thermometer is fully intact and seems accurate. Sorry for the little dust I missed on the metal backing. Two hanging hooks at sides, one for a pocket watch and one for chain, perhaps. Or bend slightly forward and display your favorite pen if you want. Rare to find one with so many of the little squiggle fringe bits in place!