"Eglomise" is the term applied to the back-painted glass panels in these old French souvenirs. Most of them date 1800s, though they were made up through about 1910 in this manner, too. Later ones often have a photo set in instead. The early ones are our favorites, sometimes a screened ink-line like drawing that is then hand colored, or sometimes a full miniature painting original, all worked on the back side of a panel or convex plaque of glass. There are sometimes open spots left and a final step is application of thin mother of pearl panels so that the windows shimmer with pearlescent light, or architectural details are pearl - you can see how fun those are. I'm listing a whole collection from this genre, one at a time, so will just give the barest detail of each as we move through the collection. This one is superb - a view of the Hotel de Ville (city building) in Lyon France. It's in fine condition and the painted architectural scene is backed with mother of pearl so it shimmers and looks like the building is lighted, glowing. Souvenir of one of the main buildings surrounding the main square, old Lyon. One of my favorite cities outside of Paris, well worth a visit now, and certainly a center of commerce in the 18th-19th centuries as a silk and fine fabrics trades among others, drawing tourists and visitors to Expo rivaling that of Paris. The box is c. 1880-1900.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. No chips or flaws to the 5 panels of thick beveled glass. The pressed brass framework is in very good condition, as well, age and type considered and clasp is holding tight. Measurements are 2.5" long, 2.5" deep front to back, and 2.5" tall when closed in display. It retains the original padded silk bottom padded lining inside, though it is deteriorated as you can see. The mirrored inside of the lid is still reflective and the hinge and clasp, both working fine. A charming box!
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