A superb bit of mid-1800s Grand Tour fittings, this is a Napoleon III era trousse de voyage, traveler's vanity valise or chest in this case. The quality is top drawer, look at the hardware at hinges, the heavy brass pencil edging and the inlaid variations of brass stringing, that bold cartouche and elegant escutcheon. I love to find these! I am a box collector of decades. I think the first antique box I bought on my own was as a grad student in London. I still have it. I didn't dream way back then that I'd have seen, owned, enjoyed the museum pieces we've had over the decades. I do love what I do! But I digress. This is a very typical Napoleon III casket, ebonized exterior, and a claret red silk moire and velvet fitted interior. The thrill is in the opening, waiting to see just what one will hold inside. These are my favorites - the layered trousse d' voyage, with all the possible necessities one might need for an extended trip, or on a dressing table at home. Vanity jars, scent or perfume flasks, inkwell, 2 layered trays of implements for the preservation of hygiene and clothing, convenience all in one compact (thought heavy!) case.
Typical mid-Victorian set, coveted and purchased by Grand Tour travelers and noblemen and women of Europe and the world. Likely purchased from the shops of elegant merchandise that lined the promenade of the gardens of the old Palais Royal, or rue St. Honore, etc., in old Paris. Certainly as fine in detail as a TAHAN or P. Sormani, or Vervelle set, yet there is not an engraved signature on the lock plate to confirm which. There are a few implement fittings missing their implement. You can add in your collection, or make it a project you'll love finishing out on your next trip to France, the little flea markets and street fairs - such fun. There are a few rubs and a push scrapes on the old wood. The brass is complete, which is rather rare, given the amount of it on this one. The interior is in very good condition, very little deterioration to the silk, leather, for a case that is now 170 years of age, give or take. Heavy, it weighs about 10 lbs with all fittings in place. Jars and bottles are fine. No chips, and both scent bottles have their original stoppers, as well. Stacked inner boxes hold brushes, a soap container in zinc/tin with ring handle. The Minerve #1 is the French hallmark guarantee for .950/1000 pure silver, and is the highest sterling standard. The French silver is also always a heavier gauge, denting is not such a problem with French Sterling owing to the thickness. Best in the world. Crystal has a beautiful simple rounded fact cut, which thrills in light or display, too.
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