A mid-1800s Grand Tour souvenir, but it has symbolic visits to both France and Italy. The old hard stone mosaic that makes the cartouche of this beautiful old "necessaire" is an Italian original pietra dura (hard stone) mosaic. The typical French form and make on the carnet du bal (dance card) or card holder (necessaire) is a beautiful old mother of pearl paneled one both front and back, and a lacing of silver applique to set off both natural materials beautifully. The old mechanical pencil (also silver) is still with this case and of course forms the closure by slipping into the loops created by the closing of the case.
Very good condition for age and type. No chips or cracks on the old mother of pearl panels, nor the beautifully crafted Italian pietra dura plaque. Only the old original red silk is showing its age a bit. Would have once had a small note pad, daily calendar with the days of the week printed on those, and also an intaglio printed calendar of the full year. These are, quite literally, the forerunners of the "daytimer" you used in the '80s to keep your appointments, and now and ancient ancestor to the calendar on your smart phone. We've come a long way. But the beauty of these old treasures remains, as does the appeal of collecting them. Measurements are noted on the photos.
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