A fabulous confectioner's box from the Napoleon III era, France, (c.1850-70) and presenting with a Chinoise copper and silver plaque up top and corner plaques of bas relief florals and bows, hat and country items reminiscent of Romantic Era picnics. The interesting blending of Chinoise (Empress Eugenie) and Romantic era motif (Louis XVI) is interesting, and further ornamented appliqué border trims raise it to a true work of art. Such were the exquisite works of art employed as presentation boxes for finest chocolatier's and confectioners. The boxes are typically light-weight wood, trimmed in embossed paper and brass trims. The box was meant to be kept as memento of the gift of chocolates. This one has a working lock but we do not have a working key at listing time. Larger in size than those created much earlier, this is a splendid jewelry box, cigar box or caddy, or display chest. Kept well and treasured, it looks to me like only the interior's papered original lining has been replaced over the 170-150 or so years since it was hand crafted. Full measurements noted on photos.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, it is a testimonial to the amazing French presentation boxes made for confectioners like Boissier and others, whose edible creations were considered arts in that time (as now). If you have not visited French chocolatier's boutiques in Paris, you really MUST do so! But I digress. This box is made of thick but light wood, covered in embossed paper, trimmed in brass castings and trim. The top plaque is acid-engraved with both copper and silver layers to create a Chinoise scene (popular in Napoleon III era). At each canted corner you find another cast metal plaque (4 in all), in intricate frames. I find a single thin brass ending missing on one side (look for it in photos - not much noticeable). A little lightening to paper's finish on bottom backside, but no actual losses which is rare. Interior is silk lined now and paper sides, restorations. Typical would have been this claret red colored paper.
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