Such a gorgeous Napoleon III (c.1850-70s) boulle box, basket handle and opulent brass and colorful boulle includes figures at each outer corner. I am quite certain it began life as a confectioner's or chocolatier's presentation box, chest. Hinged lift top and a hinged basket-like handle, it would have initially contained a selection of sweet delicacies. Most likely a gift boxed set from the boutiques of the Palais Royal where the elite gathered to shop and to attend theatre, or perhaps along the way to Opera Garnier, each in Paris. Prettiest one ever, I'd expect it to have had a Boissier stamp, but do not find one. Boissier was the finest chocolatier of 19th century Paris, and remains there along with a museum dedicated to the presentation boxes and history of the confectioner firm. The old boxes made with incredible beauty, or simpler ones in card and paper and glass - meant to be kept as a souvenir of the event or giver. This one has burled wood interior and is in superb condition. Full measurements noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition throughout. The box base is raised on a frame of dore brass with bun feet, and each of the 4 side panels are complete and fabulously designed - the celeste blue of the boulle is a reconstituted and dyed protein - casein or pulverized horn-based, which the French used in that era. The white inlays and figures are mother of pearl. Polishes very nicely, bright. Lift-up knob in same bright brass as is the hinged handle. Jewel-like, it is 8" long by 5 5/8" and with the graduated height form, it is 4" tall plus the height of the handle. No missing boulle - all 4 sides and top are excellent. Very slight convex to the lid seems definitely to be original to the design.
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