A fabulous c.1870-1900 (Late Victorian to Edwardian era) gaming chest. Oriental papier mache with heavy lacquer and hand painted gold and red Asian scenes. Open to reveal 4 gaming boxes which lift out and 4 faming trays, a c.1900 deck of playing cards, loads of fine old mother of pearl gaming chips (jetons). A beautiful old one, remarkably unscathed by time. The top lifts up and away (it was never hinged) and while I have photos of the lids off, those 4 corner boxes also lift out completely. Four open trays, each painted differently, are stacked there in the center portion. I have not counted the chips but they are of a matching pattern, all mother of pearl, and in 3 shapes. LOTS of them! An old deck of French playing cards, most of them still in the paper so you can see date and maker. Hand colored, I think, though I'm not positive of that. I found this one in France, and Chinoise, Japonaise were so fashionable during the decorative era influenced by Empress Eugenie, I feel certain the dates are perhaps conservative. The cards were likely added later. Eugenie was wife of Emperor Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon III - 1848-1870).
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. There are no chips nor cracks, no losses which often result from the papier mache construction. Very nicely preserved and beautiful from all sides. Nothing missing from the original gaming chest - 4 lift-out boxes (2 filled with mother of pearl chips original to the set) and 4 lift out trays. The deck of playing cards are French, dated 1900, most of them remain in the paper covering, a couple pulled out to show the pattern and face card painting/coloration. I think it's a full deck. The paper is thin, and I would never get them back into it if I were to take them out to count. Not positive, but pretty certain. A fabulous large chest in fine condition - only a little outer surface imperfections of age.
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