Napoleon III, mid-Victorian, Paris was on everyone's Grand Tour itinerary. As now, France thrilled visitors like no other destination and many souvenirs of the trip, the arts and artisans of France made their way home with those fortunate early tourists. This was very likely one. An elegant little trinket or jewelry box with kiln-fired enamel and brass worked in what always reminds me of Etruscan manner, then set with little copper plaques and cabochon worked by the enamelists of Bresse, France. Kiln-fired enamels like these found their way onto jewelry, boxes, frames for hand mirrors and frames for early photography, among other small objects.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. Dates c.1850-70. This one is a little unusual, and I think the 8 round outer border of half-round cabochons are original, and perhaps not the 5 arranged atop mother of pearl in the center. But what a richness of spectacular little enamels and it certainly works beautifully. Perhaps a table snuff, it's 3" x 2.5" and is 1.5" tall. Pretty gem of a thing feels more like 19th century jewelry than a box.
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