My old favorite! This is a late 1700s tortoise shell tea caddy, either English or perhaps Dutch in origin, but passed through a French family for a century. I bought it decades ago in Paris, before anyone had any objection to these elegant old museum pieces. It's a good sized one, single well but nearly 7" long, 4.5" wide and 5.35" tall when closed. I love the arching top. The thrill of cognac or blond shell interspersed by chocolate on this one is just to die for, isn't it. A couple of imperfections left as they were, and nothing missing otherwise. Raised on the original steel feet and with a monogrammed cartouche down front below the lock. I do not have the original key. We might be able to locate a key that will work the lock, but I've just never bothered. It's been my display collection item for about 30 years. The stringing up top is likely lead. The interior is a bit of a mess, as you can see. One could certainly line it in oil-marbled paper and use it again for tea. There are some notations of prior ownership noted at some point in time on the inner lid's paper. You might be able to trace a history.
Very good condition for age and type. Superbly colored tortoise shell veneer, elegantly worked in an arched top, separated by the original stringing in either lead or pewter. Flexible! As noted above and in photos, this one has a couple of imperfections, certainly consistent with its very advanced age. The little silk tassel and string goes with it, feels right in lieu of a working key. Measurements are also noted on the photos.
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. We do hold a valid USFWS license, as well, for import/export, but additional time is required for export, and we are not exporting at this time.
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