An exceptionally well-preserved c.1760-70 tortoise shell etui, necessaire with all of the many original travel essential tools still in place: 2 crystal perfume flasks, flacon, vials, sterling silver collars and sterling silver stoppers set with charming Sevres (likely) porcelain bird and flower, berry stoppers. There are sewing tools: scissors, stiletto, bodkin (stringing needle), vanity silver toothpick with ear wax spoon at one end, tweezers with a file handle and tipped with a cuticle cutting tool, medicine spoon in ornate sterling silver, silver-handle pencil, steel scraper/eraser, steel tool that might be a steel point stylus, 2-leaf note pad in ivory, a folding knife with a tortoise shell handles which is the only flawed item - broken on both shell handles but displays very nicely in place in the etui. The fabric lined interior lid and its original mirror are all in place and excellent. The 2 perfume bottles are each 2 3/8" tall with stoppers in, 5/8" widest and 3/8" in depth, front to back. All implements precision crafted and useful. Measurements noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition throughout. I can point to 2 flaws: the folding knife's tortoise shell handles are both broken, even so it rests and displays beautifully in the fitting; there is one very small chip at a corner of the tortoise shell veneer, about 1/8", visible at right back side of bottom half when viewing straight on. I'll note with "x" or you'll miss it. Under great magnification, I can see slight roughness on leaf tips of the stoppers, which may represent very small nips to the thin porcelain there, or may just be original. Birds are charming and undamaged. One stopper is stuck in the neck, needs to be soaked free. No breaks or chips at all in the flasks. Some age showing to the very old steel implements. A couple of pique nails lost but vast majority still in place and gorgeous. This one is definitely Museum quality, very rare. In research I found only 2 with the porcelain stoppers, definitely made by the same person/firm, and thought to be Sevres, one in collection of the MET, NYC and one in collection of the Louvre, Paris. One identified it as French, the other as English, so slightly up in air, but I do believe this, and others I've owned over decades are French made. A stunning set! Louis XV to XVI period.
IMPORTANT NOTE regarding antique tortoise shell or ivory: We are great supporters of protection for endangered species in our modern world. We never buy or sell anything 100 years or newer; we donate to anti-poaching organizations; we don't hunt; we conserve in ways that impact global warming (we're totally solar at home), knowing those measures also protect the animals in the wild today. We also recognize the vast cultural history we preserve with our care and reverence for these antique objects, and agree with CITES that objects over 100 years of age have nothing whatsoever to do with species depletion in our current world.
Our offering exceeds the age limitation of "more than 100 years of age", and is well within the exemption for CITES regulation. If imported, met the CITES regulation. This item will be handled and shipped from our Utah business, and is not available for shipment internationally, nor within the USA to California, NY, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington if it contains ivory, sorry. Please see our small print for more details.
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