These are rare! What some think might be a cigar case is, instead, a 1700s "billet doux", or directly translated, "sweet note". The case is that into which love notes, invitations to clandestine trysts and such words of love would be sent by courier to one's beloved. Marriage being what it was among elites and titled persons in Marie-Antoinette's era and earlier, one did not always consort with only one's spouse. A love note would be written, rolled and slid into the tube, closed and perhaps even sealed with a small sealing wax/cachet to avoid prying eyes of even one's trusted courier. These survive today mostly in museum collections. We've had and sold some splendid ones over time. The most wonderful are these hand painted ones, and the most rare of those might be a hunting scene like this one. Hound and game hens, it might have belonged to a gentleman. The layered varnish and oil paint manner in which it is worked is a favorite of Marie-Antoinette, and was invented by the Brothers, Martin, and is referred to simply as "vernis martin" now, as then.
Very good to excellent condition for it's advanced age. This would be 250-280 years old. Imagine the stories it could tell, were it able. Still in very nice condition, very little loss to the oil paintings. A slight roughness/loss around where that 18k gold band fits on both top and bottom. A little disruption on ends, which we've shown very clearly for your review. Displays perfectly well, and has both gold bands (some get lost) and the interior liner is fully intact without any loss or damage. Measurements noted on photos, but it is an average size for these, at 5 1/2" long.
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