This stunning mid-nineteenth century French Napoleon III period tantalus or liqueur caddy, is constructed of rosewood and mahogany. Its hinged lid features a diamond marquetry pattern formed by rosewood inlay outlined by bands of ebonized pear wood with mother-of-pearl stars at each intersecting point. Bronze detailing frames the lid, and bronze beading surrounds the top and lower edge of the box. The top lifts up and locks in place, and the front is hinged so the intricate marquetry work is displayed above the contents of the liqueur box. The sides are also hinged to allow for easier access to the interior. The lift out mahogany and bronze tray inside holds the original liqueur service comprised of sixteen Saint Louis crystal glasses and four carafes with stoppers, all etched with a Greek key motif. The lids of the carafes are numbered on their underside. The sixteen round liqueur glasses rest on square bases, giving this set a more contemporary look. Hand painted enameled plaques hang from small chains around the necks of the carafes and are labeled Anisette, Curacao, Marc, and Rhum. Remnants of a sticker on the back of the interior reads 5 R. Anc Comedie, Paris, the address on the Rue de l'Ancienne Comedie in the Saint Germain-des-Pres neighborhood on the left bank of the Seine, indicating a chapter of its provenance. A rare find with its complete original crystal service, this exquisite tantalus is sure to make a grand impression. Includes one key for functioning lock. c. 1860.
10" H X 13" W X 9.75" D
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