Fine antique French Napoleon III to Belle Epoque era eglomise souvenir jewelry casket with unique hexagonal shape in gilt ormolu & thick beveled glass with early print & reverse painted lid showing a colorful scene of "Marseille - Chateau d' If". Those of you who follow our listings know we just love these old French treasures, and the ones that have architectural and monument scenes are just extra fun. Great souvenirs! This one a souvenir of Marseille, showing the Chateau d'If, a fortress and later a prison located on the island of If, the smallest island in the Frioul archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. Just under a mile offshore in the Bay of Marseille in southeastern France, it is famous for being one of the settings of Alexandre Dumas' adventure novel The Count of Monte Cristo. Great condition and great appeal. Enjoy your Grand Tour trip but find your fabulous souvenirs here with us!
"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.
Good to very good condition. Possibly a small nip or corner chip to the glass panels in places but no large chips, cracks or damage to note. A few spots on the eglomise painting/print, a few small spot losses or separations to the painted portions. The box is slightly misshapen, not perfectly hexagonal but could likely be gently pushed back more 'square'. The original interior is intact but quite age tattered. See pictures for measurements.
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