The origination of Vernis Martin, the beautiful layering of paint and varnish, sometimes patterned or over foil, was a mid-18th century decorative process developed by the Brothers Martin. The style brought depth and lively surfaces of a unique nature to small objects and large, alike. French Queen Marie-Antoinette became very enamored and supportive of the style and helped create a market and a body of beautiful decorated works, including entire rooms at the Palais Versailles which can still be seen mostly intact today. From that movement we have elegant hand painted snuff boxes to furniture pieces, and a continuation of such arts well into the 19th century. The earlier pieces, however, preserve the vibrance of the coloration, and the latter quite often darken in a different way. It is said the secret was the special varnish developed by the Brothers Martin, which has been lost to time. I believe this is early to late 1800s as the popularity continued. A beautiful miniature painting on this small work of art - box, which is fine ivory, note restrictions below, nicely mounted and the exterior entirely decorated by hand. Beautiful landscape with 6 people, neoclassical or Romantic clothing and theme there on the top, repeated hand painted garlands and wreath & ribbon with crossed torches on the back side of the box with gold metal hinges nicely in place. A beauty! Full measurements are noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, very little loss though certainly some evident age to the decorated exterior. Fitting, hinge nicely preserved, as is the composition of the box, which is or appears to be ivory. I see one top right corner of the lid has a small chip. Small touchup to paint and gold along perimeter of the top of lid would help that small chip disappear to view. You do see the yellowing or darkening of the layered varnish, more typical of the 19th century Vernis Martin items. Very popular to the tourist trade. Elegant shading to the small paintings.
IMPORTANT NOTE regarding antique tortoise shell or ivory: We are great supporters of protection for endangered species in our modern world. We never buy or sell anything 100 years or newer; we donate to anti-poaching organizations; we don't hunt; we conserve in ways that impact global warming (we're totally solar at home), knowing those measures also protect the animals in the wild today. We also recognize the vast cultural history we preserve with our care and reverence for these antique objects, and agree with CITES that objects over 100 years of age have nothing whatsoever to do with species depletion in our current world.
Our offering exceeds the age limitation of "more than 100 years of age", and is well within the exemption for CITES regulation. If imported, met the CITES regulation. This item will be handled and shipped from our Utah business, and is not available for shipment internationally, nor within the USA to California, NY, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington if it contains ivory, sorry. Please see our small print for more details.