Hands clasped in friendship there on the heavy bronze handle - everyone's favorite detail. Paw feet, working lock and original key, all still in place. The old mirror remains within the lid, chenille trim fully intact and only a little stumble of centuries to the old silvering. This sarcophagus-shaped casket is just the ones to catch my eye a block away when I'm out buying in Paris. A couple extra heartbeats, a faster pace, and a pause just before opening it. Hope upon hope, it will have its original contents still preserved within. I know you know the feeling. I've been a box collector all my life. First thrill is the box. But the promise of what will be found inside is also half of the intrigue, isn't it. This elegant c.1800-1810 French Empire sewing box retains just about everything it started with, 200 to 220 years ago in one of the boutiques of the old Palais Royal, Palace of Cardinal Richelieu. Treasures for the upper eschaton of society, dignitaries, Royals, the center of commerce and society - in this one's time and for nearly 100 years before. Only the best. Best of fine sterling silver, porcelains, crystal, clothing and saddlery, necessaire and trousse du voyage, and opulent trinkets and confections were to be found, among conversations and all the news of the day. Theatre, music, finest dining - the history of the Palais Royal, Paris, clings to this one. Looking as thought it was treasured as a special gift, I see no real evidence it was ever used. Measurements are noted on our photos.
Very good to excellent condition throughout, age and type considered. The sewing implements: scissors, stiletto, bodkin, extra large needle case, thimble and 3 of the original 4 silk winders remain. The silk velvet embossed pin cushion and balance of the tray all seem unscathed by time and are beautiful, undamaged and unfaded. That exceptionally fine and early scent flacon, flask, is of the era if not a decade or two earlier, and only because it is very slightly misfit for the opening, I am sure it is the single replacement. Not a chip nor nip on it. You see the typical 18k gold accents on the thimble, the needle case and the scissors. Rare to have the mother of pearl bodkin in place, and the thimble without damage. The original chenille-trimmed pad is also beautifully preserved - no tatter to the silk satin, and no stains or losses. You see that the original mirror remains unbroken and in place in the inner lid, but allow me to point to the few small 'scumbles' visible which represent where silvering has flaked off. Not much, but a little. Otherwise, clear and highly reflective mirror. In all, such a beauty. Museum quality!
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