Fabulous antique French Bourgeois Aine artist's watercolor paint box, a 3-tier expanding chest with lots of original contents! These almost always sell as quickly as we find and list them, whether it's for the antique French paints inside or to use as a decorative accent. This one quite unique with the scroll cut hinges at the sides and three levels of fittings, porcelain mixing palettes, glass covered jars and more. The box, several pieces and even some of the paints bear the marking of Bourgeois Aine, a prominent French maker of paints and kits. The diamond-shaped logo featuring the letter "B" flanked by caducei, with the words "PARIS" at top and "DÉPOSÉ" at bottom is for Bourgeois Ainé, an artist supply shop once located in Paris near the Musée du Louvre.
Before opening the store in 1867, its founder François Alexandre Joseph Bourgeois (b. 1830) had invented alizarin lacquer, which led to the production of some of the first nontoxic paints. By 1898, Bourgeois Ainé was operating out of a storefront located at 18 rue Croix des Petits Champs (now 24 rue des Petits-Champs) and was affiliated with three factories in the outskirts of Paris. The shop's inventory expanded to include tubes of paint as well as a full array of artist supplies, ranging from specially designed paint boxes, brushes, pastels, watercolors, and easels, to stools, shade umbrellas, and a variety of canvases (including the wooden frame that supports the canvas of Picasso's The Scallop Shell: "Notre Avenir est dans L’Air”, c.1912).
Very good condition. As you can see, the clasp on the front of the box is missing but the rest is in great shape, the wood is maple I think. The contents are just as they appear in the images, most of the watercolor paint tiles have been used somewhat, some more than others. A few missing items surely but quite a few intact. See pictures for all measurements.
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