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Antique 1st Empire French Chocolatier's Box, Confectioner's Chocolate Casket, c.1800-1810
Antique 1st Empire French Chocolatier's Box, Confectioner's Chocolate Casket, c.1800-1810
Antique 1st Empire French Chocolatier's Box, Confectioner's Chocolate Casket, c.1800-1810
Antique 1st Empire French Chocolatier's Box, Confectioner's Chocolate Casket, c.1800-1810
Antique 1st Empire French Chocolatier's Box, Confectioner's Chocolate Casket, c.1800-1810
Antique 1st Empire French Chocolatier's Box, Confectioner's Chocolate Casket, c.1800-1810
Antique 1st Empire French Chocolatier's Box, Confectioner's Chocolate Casket, c.1800-1810
Antique 1st Empire French Chocolatier's Box, Confectioner's Chocolate Casket, c.1800-1810
Antique 1st Empire French Chocolatier's Box, Confectioner's Chocolate Casket, c.1800-1810
Antique 1st Empire French Chocolatier's Box, Confectioner's Chocolate Casket, c.1800-1810
Antique 1st Empire French Chocolatier's Box, Confectioner's Chocolate Casket, c.1800-1810

Antique 1st Empire French Chocolatier's Box, Confectioner's Chocolate Casket, c.1800-1810

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An early one, c.1800-1810, French Empire, Napoleon era confectioner's box, petit and elegant, card, paper, embossed foil trim, eglomise glass top with mirror inside. Chocolate or cocoa, as a substance and flavor was introduced to Europe in the 1500s, and by the 1700s, was raised to a fine art in France. So much so, in fact, that by mid-1700s, confectioners and chocolatiers were having special boxes made just for the presentation of their concoctions, bonbons, chocolate delicacies. The boxes, which always attract me, range from tiny round ones in card/glass and with recess of seed pearls, earlier 1700s, and got larger as time went on, fancier.  We've had some in finest tortoise shell, others with the maker's labels or engraved lock plate still in place - such as Boissier. We've sold some to the Boissier museum in Paris.  The idea of these boxes was that it would be a lasting memento, reminder of the event of enjoyment of the chocolates and confections it held when initially sold. Whether as a jewelry box, or a desktop box, the memory of the gift and giver, as well as the expensive confections, it was a memory kept. Often a gift, such a presentation helps us understand how elevated was the experience of early candies, chocolates. Measurements noted on our photos. I've just bought several from an estate, so watch in weeks ahead for the others (sold separately).

Very good to excellent condition throughout on this one, just 2 things I can point to as flaw: 1 of the carved wood feet is a little blunted; the paper hinge has split so the top of the box is loose from the bottom. This is typical. Made of paper, that hinge is the first thing to go. I do repairs to the lost hinge by using very thin silk borderless ribbon, 7mm wide, to replace that paper hinge, which is stronger and will hold up longer, better. I haven't, at listing time, gotten the white or off-white ribbon in, but will in a day or two and will then do that repair and will add a photo. Meanwhile, I did want you to know it will be as it should right away, but that its paper hinge didn't quite last 200 years. This one is in exceptionally fine condition otherwise, missing none of the back-painted decorative top, and no breaks anywhere. The interior is the old original mirror, shows some silvering age which is very typical. Measurements noted on photos.