With a rare back-painted glass painting of the Pantheon, Paris, set in front of St. Genevieve, (a gem of a chapel with magical history and a dual staircase to die for), this is perhaps the only time I've ever seen the Pantheon as subject on an early Grand Tour souvenir item like this. I think this one dates c.1840-60, an early one. The full area view is splendid, as is the view of the Sorbonne that surrounds it. You will remember that Foucault's Pendulum swings in perpetuity within, but it is the architectural view and your own memories of this particular block of Paris that will be what you see when you use and enjoy this fine antique cigar case. Yes, it is and was a cigar case, though many enjoy using these expanding baffled cases for their spectacles and or as an evening clutch bag with a few credit cards and ones keys held inside. I used to use them this way at after-hours events back when I worked for RIA and Paramount. Always a guarantee of making opener conversation lively and less stressful, and always noticed. I have an entire collection of my own. This one is in a cover that is heavy papier mache or perhaps horn. I did not do a burn test on it. It is definitely not shell.
Very good to excellent condition throughout for age and type. The exterior is splendid and the original silk lining remains also in fine form for its age. You'll enjoy using this one. Clasp and hinges are fine and the leather accordion-pleated baffled side expands nicely and is not ruined. The case is set with a sterling silver cartouche on backside which does not have any monogram yet. You could add your own should you wish to. The painting is, as noted above, done on the backside of a convex panel of glass. That it is complete and undamaged and has not had flaking paint suggests it has been put away as a treasure and really never put to use. Overall condition suggests it, as well. There is a silver stringing around both top and bottom covers, and a hammered brass mat-frame accenting the painting. Measurements are noted on the photos, but it is 5.25" x 3.25" and is .5" thick when flattest and can expand .5" more to hold your cigars or whatever. Fabulous find!
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