Wonderful antique French chocolatier or confectioner's box, a casket for chocolates with religious Mary with Child & Jesus miniatures framed in ornate gilt pressed card. Dating c.1880-1910, it is a box in the tradition of the fine chocolate and bonbon makers of France, and is meant to be a memento or keepsake after the delicious chocolate confections are consumed. To this end, we've had fine chocolates boxes in everything from tortoise shell to crystal and dore bronze, but this one is printed silk over a cotton-padded box lid, as you can see. This was a house of confection. The earliest confectioner's boxes were all very small, showing you how the relative value of the rare 1700s imported chocolate (cocoa) became less so over time, yet still warranted a hand made and elegant box. I love this old French tradition. The original paper label on the bottom reads "Firmin Semezis, Distillerie, Confiserie, Rue Neuve du Pont 7, Villeneuve Sur Lot".
Very good condition for age and type, there is very little wear to the corners as you can see in our images. Must have been treasured well over the century. Due to the fragile nature of these, they become more and more available as the centuries pass. Collect them - they're going up in value all the time. There appears to be missing ribbons on the exterior lid, evidenced by the darkened lines. The interior retains the original paper lining and delicate lace around the sides. There are white glass ball feet on only one side of the box, missing on the other side. I'll see if we have something that will work as replacements. Otherwise, removing the two existing feet would likely go unnoticed. Measurements are on the photos.
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