We think Louis Philippe era. Finest gold metallic thread embroidery I've ever owned, done entirely by hand on lush and finest silk fabric, lined in same silk and every stitch perfect. This is a bit of a mystery, elongated to 12 5/8" in length and 5 1/2" in width, it is a flat envelope like pouch, so beautifully crafted and preserved, I asked my purse collector friends if they, as I, thought it might have been for some special document, a tribunal, deed, or marriage contract. It feels like that kind of a masterpiece, really - something quite uniquely elegant and meaningful. Yes, early 1800s, they agreed, and one mentioned the iconography of the florals, or botanical symbology, which is often important in textiles. She said, and I do remember, that the myrtle plant was considered by the ancients to be a good omen, and connected the the sphere of love and eroticism", and agreed with me that it seems likely to have been a pouch for a marriage contract. I admit I have never seen another. There are no ecclesiastical icons, or one might consider it to have been some catholic finery or other. But I like the idea and probability that it was created to hold the marriage contract of some couple whose standing would warrant such a treasure.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. The gold threads are so brilliant, I can't adequately capture the effect of this pouch. The silk is incredibly fine, age but no deterioration. The stitches so even and perfect, one recognizes the work of a Master embroiderer. To find a flaw - not really possible. No holes, no rattiness to the interior silk or to corners, though a light tarnish or silver-look to the gold threads on that very outer edging of the bottom corners. Something which has been stored perfectly and treasured long and well. Heavy in hand because of all the metallic thread, but delicate and lush with the gold and the silk together. Imagine it in its time, and to whom the important documents, or charter, or certificate/contract for marriage might have referred. Gorgeous old thing for 200 years of age.
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