For some reason this little metal gem was mixed in with the china and ceramics at my neighborhood thrift store. I guessing someone had picked it up, carried it around in his/her basket, decided against it and stuck it back here. Which was fine with me. Though not in pristine condition, it is antique and French!
These type of metal jewelry boxes were popular in the early 1900s and frequently had Art Nouveau motifs—flowing lines, flowers and nymphs—and were lined in tufted silks and velvets. The metal boxes were electroplated with gold (sometimes called “ormolu”), silver or copper and later enamels.
The one I found is marked “Made in France, SR” on the bottom. The gold finish is quite worn on the front panel and top. And alas someone used polish on this at some point and some is still left in crevices. I’ve been using wet Q-tips to try to remove the residue, but it’s a tedious business. I might try a super soft toothbrush.
And there is a screw hole at the back of the piece that indicated something used to be there! Hmmmm. I did a bit of research and discovered that originally there would have been a mirror attached.
Here’s one I found like mine (though with a very worn silver finish) that has the mirror for $399.99! I found another one in gold finish listed for $199.99 on eBay.
While these jewelry caskets are not usually my cup of tea, they do have fans. 🙂 Research on WorthPoint indicates that these typically sell between $25 – $125, though obviously some for less and some for more!
Here’s a selection of sold French- and U.S.-made caskets…
Of course the question is what should I try to sell mine for given its condition? The plating is worn in areas and it’s missing the mirror attachment, but it does retain its original silk lining and is a scarcer model.
I’m not sure! What do you think??
As always, happy hunting,