Amazing antique French Palais Royal travel compendium, necessaire or “campaign” chest, a burled walnut or amboyna box with a massive array of contents including gold enameled porcelain tea or coffee cup & saucer, sterling silver cup, tumbler or “timbale” and a wide array of original vanity & writing pieces (travel inkwells with sterling tops and wax seal or sceau) in the intricately fitted & layered interior! Ashley and I found this one in Paris on our last trip, both of us talking about how if we’d have been there or traveled there roughly 200 years ago, she would surely have needed this :). Especially that beautiful little coffee cup & saucer was Ashley’s response given the fact that we basically lived off of espresso, cappuccino and cafe creme the entire time. A gorgeous box, the exterior in a richly burled walnut or amboyna with brass corners, escutcheon and cartouche. It even has a working lock with key. Missing the interior mirror fitting that would have been held in the lid but the contents nearly entirely there. French sterling silver hallmarks on most and they vary a bit, the variations in silver marks can be easily accounted for as the original owner having pieces remade if they wore out or were lost in those early years. Most of the marks date the piece between 1798-1809, the tiny “faisceau” mark, at least one with a silversmith mark for Pierre-Philippe Rousseau, Paris circa 1808-1820. Hallmarks including the early French coq, the Michel-Ange mark and more throughout. The old Palais Royal, Paris, is there still, still a center of commerce, theater, dining, but in its origin it was the Palace of Cardinal Richelieu, and afterward because THE center for Royals and elites to shop, congregate socially. The items from the boutiques of the old Palais Royal remain museum pieces, highly sought after. These dressing travel chests are so rare to find now. Almost never complete, even in museums. And every single piece of significant value and history. We do not know to whom this one first belonged and can only imagine the places it’s been but that’s just the fun part, romanticizing the possibilities. I’ve tried to include an array of pictures, we’re only allowed twelve images on ebay so if you’re seeing it there, email and I’ll reply with the rest.
Very good condition. As stated, some pieces are surely not original, possible custom replacements or additions but the majority are, proved by their hallmarks. There is a repaired break in the handle of the vermeil toothbrush shaped piece and two fo the cologne type bottles have chips in the necks. No chips, cracks or damage to the porcelain cup & saucer. A magnificent set! The exterior of the box is quite fantastic, given its age. No real notable damage and, as mentioned, it has a working lock with key. See pictures for all measurements.