This is a beautiful antique French Palais Royale gilded bronze ormolu jewellery casket, Circa 1820 in date.
The sides are decorated with armorial panels, scrolled acanthus leaves and floral vases. The hinged lid is set with a large circular signed portrait painting. The hinged lid opening to reveal the original silk lined interior with an inset bevelled mirror panel. The casket is raised on on elegant cast toupie feet and is complete with working lock and the oriiginal key.
A truly beautiful example which is functional as well as being highly decorative.
In excellent condition. As an antique item, the casket show signs of use commensurate with age, these minor condition issues are mentioned for accuracy and, as seen in the accompanying photographs, the casket displays beautifully.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 12 x Width 24 x Depth 17
Dimensions in inches:
Height 5 inches x Width 9 inches x Depth 7 inches
In the mid 1800s the best souvenirs from Paris were found in the boutiques of the famed Palais Royal of Paris, which is the old palace of Cardinal Richelieu. The boutiques lined the promenade of the central gardens, and the area was host to Royals, dignitaries, the posh societies of times past. The treasures from the Palais Royal remain today some of the most sought after antiques to be found.
Ormolu – Gilt Bronze (from French ‘or moulu’, signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as ‘gilt bronze’.
The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.
After around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury other techniques were used instead. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt.
Our reference: A1732