A superb gaming chest from the Napoleon III era (c.1850-70s) and obviously by quality, made by one of the very best makers, too. Even though the lock plate is unmarked on this one, the quality is all there. That elevates both the history and the value of this elegant box and set, of course, as would it if it bore the name TAHAN, Vervelle, Paul Sormani. Those were perhaps the 4 finest names in such opulent boxes and goods, each attaining highest honors at Expos and each makers to Kings, Emperors, the elite of the era. One can only guess who might have once enjoyed gaming with this set. If only it would tell us its story. We have no provenance to speak of. The set is one we imported from Paris years ago, however. The gaming chips and the old antique set of playing cards, which are themselves quite valuable, and a game marker are all included with the satin-finish box. The box is, I believe, Rosewood. Stunning fine old wood, inlaid beautifully with top quality stringing and a cartouche to match which has been engraved with a monogram, elaborate and centered by a T. The lock works and we do have the original working key (rare to do these days). The gaming chips (jetons) are all the old originals plus partials from another set (ones with colored borders are original to this box, the others added in, I'm sure). I have not counted them but it is not a full complete set (from experience). The old set of cards is a 20th century add-in, a sheet-litho printed set that has then been machine-cut. . I didn't even count to see if it's complete but I think perhaps not quite.
Very good condition throughout. No lift or loss to the inlay cartouche nor the stringing. Wood is a satin finish, elegant old grain and is, I believe, Rosewood, a high exotic wood. There are some rises to the old grain, which you can view in our images. But just a gorgeous box, all in all. No warp, closes smoothly and while a tiny chip or two might be found on the mother of pearl inlays, none are missing. All stringing is complete, too. The interior is fitted out already for your gaming with all you see therein. Appears to me to be 2 different sets of gaming chips, so a bit of a bonus. All of the lift-out chip trays (jetons trays) and the ante are complete though show age and use. The gaming marker is a rather simple one, but it came with the set and will remain. I'm sorry - I sent this to warehouse before counting the playing cards. Will do so and annotate soon. Note the old tarif stamps that still are adhered to the underside. Measurements noted on the photos (11.75" x 9.25" and 2" high when closed. Working lock and key is present.
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