Rare find! A remarkably unscathed 1770s French confectioner's or chocolatier's presentation box, pristine eglomise (back-painted glass) interior bottom liner and fully intact but for the key to fit the working lock. These chocolates boxes were elaborately made, usually smaller than this one. At the time, chocolate and bonbons (opulent confections) were rare and expensive, and new. The history of chocolate is very interesting, the value it had and the fact that it was only the rich, elite, positioned in life who could afford such luxurious items. The old Palais Royal, former palace of Cardinal Richelieu, was a center of theater, commerce to the elite, and catered exclusively to Royal and courtiers, dignitaries of the era. Boutiques that lined the interior garden promenade of the old Palace offered spectacular goods. Something like this would have been filled with paper-wrapped bonbons. The gift box, once emptied of the delicious candies, was then to be a souvenir of the giver, or of the visit to theater. Only rarely do they survive so well. They're typically made of papered heavy card, or light wood like balsa wood. Not solid wood. The leather-look covering on this is also paper, but magnificent. Look it over. It would have been fit for a Queen, and in the era of and just after Louis XVI for this one, to perhaps as late as 1810. Foil, paper, light in weight but for the original mirror within and that large eglomise painting, revealed only as the confections were consumed.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. I have seen museum exhibits with lesser examples. Imagine a time when French chocolates warranted such splendid delivery. And the people to whom it meant enough to be this well treasured. You'll note a little wear to the outer edges of the lid, which is little for this type of item. Elegant to extreme. Measurements are noted on our photos. Working lock, but I do not have the key to go with it at listing time. Should we locate one that will fit it, I'll annotate the listing. Ball feet and a brass edging with a perfect original bottom liner in place, too. I've never had a nicer one of these, and I'm always on search for antique chocolatier's boxes. Quite remarkable, this one.
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