19th-century French Enamel Box, "Memoire d'un Ami"
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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Enamel: Pre 1900: item # 983129
Please refer to our stock # 5218-10 when inquiring.
STUDIO ANTIQUES & FINE ART, INC.
524 North Washington Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Most likely French, 19th century. A nineteenth-imitation of the extremely popular souvenir boxes made in Bilston at the end of the eighteenth century (see 5218-18). However, it clearly dates to the late nineteenth century. The lug and ribbed banding on the metal hinge, and the inferior quality of the painting identify this box as a nineteenth-century creation. Itís also important to note that the use of the French on the lid is not indicative of its origin, but rather another attempt at eighteenth century verisimilitude. It was not uncommon for eighteenth-century Bilston souvenir boxes to have mottoes written in (bad) French. Chip to lid, small pieces of enamel missing to underside of lid.
Susan Benjamin. English Enamel Boxes. (1976).