A rare and superb c.1820 French Palais Royal sewing set, etui, necessaire, in a remarkable state of preservation. A burled wood box with impossibly tiny alternating contrasting wood edge trim, all of which remains intact and undamaged is just the beginning. Push-button opener reveals a stunning 18k gold sewing set, 2 spools, silk winder, scissors, needle case, stiletto, bodkin and thimble and the perfume or scent bottle (flask, flacon), all in 18k gold substantial enough to make it a heavy set without any dents or dings. This is a good deal finer than even most antique 18k sewing sets - heavier gauge in the creation, and just so elegantly worked - look at the delicate bas relief of each piece. A single 18k French thimble brings $500, easily. The Scissors can reach $1000 with interesting handle motif like these and sharp undamaged blades. There's as much gold in that ribbon-threading bodkin as in a wedding ring (note the broad end is also an ear wax spoon). Needle case, $700 range, and even the scent bottle with 18k cap can bring $300, the silk winder another $150, and 18k gold trimmed spools, that and more. Stiletto, easily $300 in this fine condition and large gold handle. For these reasons, it is often the case that these sets are sold off piece by piece to gain the price. To me, and to serious dealers and collectors, the higher value is in keeping all the original pieces in their place. I consider this the best 'etui' or purse/travel case set I own.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. Lots of elegance, lots of 18k gold, and very well treasured, still all in their perfectly fitted recesses. Quite remarkable that it has only 2 small flaws, one being a lost end to the one thread spool, and the other completely out of sight - a chip to the neck of the perfume flacon, though the 18k gold cap still screws on tightly and it doesn't leak (should you wish to use it). Nothing visible there when the cap is in place. Tempting to find a perfect sized mother of pearl button and replace that end of the spool just for show, but we'll leave it to the next owner of this exceptional and museum quality set.