I'm a box collector from way way back, and the Napoleon III era boxes always thrill me. French boxes from any age, even today, are aesthetically elegant, works of artisan or ebeniste's artistry, and worthy of revere. This glove box (elongated, drop-down front) is a gentleman's glove box, or was initially. Today, these c.1850-70s boxes are just as worthy of a gentleman's jewelry, or as a cigar presentation box, or just as a beautiful object in collection with others. The ebonized finish on this one is dramatic, with its broad gilt ornamental edging and the boulle inlays. Well-preserved, the interior is beautiful, as well - very classy, the natural wood with thin contrasting stringing. Working lock and the original key set off by the ornate escutcheon, and a cartouche of mother of pearl up top which is not yet monogrammed. Good sized, 10 1/4" long, 4" wide and 3" tall, closed, it's such a pretty display box.
Very good to excellent for age and type, there is some age and a few imperfections or pushes to the old wood, but no missing veneer and no chips. The edging is complete, the hinges and hardware in fine order. No warp to the old wood, box meets flush and tight when closed. The mother of pearl cartouche has a hairline crack, as you can see. The inlays or boulle work are all complete and include pearl bits. Beautiful old thing.