The painting you remember from the Palace of Versailles: A stunning miniature of the famous painting "Jean-Baptiste Colbert Presenting the Members of the Royal Academy of Science to Louis XIV", c.1667, by by Henri Testelin (1616-1695) (A big portion of the lecture at Château de Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine, 6 miles from central Paris), is the top of this 19th century Grand Tour souvenir jewelry box, casket, and 8 smaller miniature portraits surround it, each depicting a familiar historical figure from the life of Louis XIV, The Sun King (Le Roi Soleil), whose majesty brought us the Palace of Versailles and unparalleled French majesty. You'll want to read much about this famed King, perhaps one of history's most written about. Crowned King as a child of just 5 years, and was overseen and overshadowed by Cardinal Richelieu, of course. His ring of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. The familiar faces that comprise those additional 8 portraits do include Cardinal Richelieu, Anne of Austria, his mistresses, too. All mounted and preserved beautifully herein, under glass, pristine and perfect. The casket is, I feel certain, a remnant of the early to mid-1800s Grand Tour souvenirs, though I have never seen another similarly made. From an anonymous estate in France, it is in heavy high gold-looking dorè bronze, also crafted in a style that would have been fitting in the time of Louis XIV. Nicely lined, still, in silk velvet. It retains a working key and the casket closes smoothly (some photos, it was not closed properly, sorry), and it does lock.
Very good to excellent for age and type. You have 8 small portrait miniatures here and one magnificent miniature painting 'après' (after) the work which hangs today in the Palace of Versailles. I can see no damage to report, and no flaws. A tassel has been added to the original key, and everything else is original. Measurements are noted on the photos, but casket is 7" long, 5" widest and 5.25" tall, very nice sized and impressive in display with your portrait miniatures. Stunning, really! Don't miss it.
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