"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 quite unique with the pressed brass body, a relatively Art Nouveau styled pattern with cattails, foliage and large dragonflies. The lid a thick beveled glass panel with the reverse painted scene of the Paris Pont Alexandre III bridge. With its Art Nouveau lamps, cherubs, nymphs and winged horses at either end, was built between 1896 and 1900. It is named after Tsar Alexander III, who had concluded the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892. His son Nicholas II laid the foundation stone in October 1896. The style of the bridge reflects that of the Grand Palais, to which it leads on the right bank. The construction of the bridge is a marvel of 19th century engineering, consisting of a 20 ft high single span steel arch. The design, by the architects Joseph Cassien-Bernard [fr] and Gaston Cousin, was constrained by the need to keep the bridge from obscuring the view of the Champs-Élysées or the Invalides. The bridge was built by the engineers Jean Résal and Amédée Alby. It was inaugurated in 1900 for the Exposition Universelle or World's Fair, as were the nearby Grand Palais and Petit Palais.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type.I see no chips to the thick beveled glass lid and no loss to the painting. Some visible age tarnish to the sides. The original interior lining is intact but, as you can see in the images, it is somewhat ages. See pictures for measurements.
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