19th century French wooden casket fitted with silver tools
Circa 1820-30 French sewing casket with a fitted interior holding a collection of sterling sewing tools with a deep storage area beneath. The box is made from at least two different woods– the lighter is a fruitwood, perhaps lemon and the darker might be walnut. The elaborate decorations use two techniques: marquetry (the darker ones on the lighter wood) which is inlaid pieces of wood veneer, and the lighter motifs are actually where the darker wood has been bleached and stained to mimic an inlay of different wood, you can see a drawn outline around the shapes.
The interior features a fitted tray which lifts out to reveal a deep storage space beneath. The tray has a red velvet covering and the built-in pincushion is decorated with embroidery of silver metal bullion and spangles. The needlecase is 3-1/4″ long, the larger scissors 3-3/4″, the small scissors 2″, the stiletto 4″ and the scent bottle 2-7/8″ long. The thimble is unmarked but perhaps a size 9. The matched pair of mother of pearl silk winders are about 1″ across and the spots they fit into are mirrors with chenille padding. The same red and white chenille cord outlines the padded silk “cushion” that sits atop the tray and outlines the mirror. The mirror has one small crack near the lower left edge that is through to the surface, the other flaws are to the finish on the mirror back and do not affect the front.
9″ long by 6-1/4″ wide and 4″ high on small metal ball feet. In generally very good overall condition. The lock is missing so the lid does not close tightly.The scissors blades and the awl bear some discolored spots on the steel portions. The tools test as silver but there are no silver marks (and they are very lightweight) so I suspect they are silver washed rather than plated.
The raised patterns match on the pieces and are crisply defined. No damage to any of the tools beyond the steel discoloration on the scissors and awl. The cut glass of the scent bottle is free of chips and the top screws tightly closed.
This will require a signature at delivery.
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