Such a little beauty! The old engraved mother of pearl remains in such fine condition for age, the mother of pearl plaques, veneers are all there and without much, if any, dings. The irresistible 18k gold medallion with the kiln-fired enamel flowers insure that it was originally a purchase or commission from the boutiques of the famed Palais Royal. Palais Royal was the old Palace of Cardinal Richelieu, and from 1700s onward existed as a luxurious center of society, commerce, theater. Only the very best objects were offered there. They might range from a simple calling card case, as this one, or to a huge and expansive service of French sterling silver, elaborately decorated porcelains, luxury travel vanity sets, rich clothing and fabrics, etc., etc..
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, this one has no missing panels of mother of pearl. The enamel iris on the 18k gold medallion is, of course, the flower which, stylized, is the French fleur-de-lys. Wood interior has no chips and both pieces slide smoothly and fit perfectly together, still. Measurements noted on the photos. This one is slightly small for use for modern business cards, and was meant for the smaller printed calling cards.
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