Thursday, August 27, 2009

metal boxes

copper box with the crest of MONTBELIARD*
19th century, found at the Porte-de-Vanves flea market
[15 x 7.5 cm wide x 6 cm high/7.5 cm with the feet]

detail of crowned headless bird [eagle?] on the sides;
a pattern of the double crossed Croix de Lorraine** on top of the lid and on the front and back sides;
the lock is missing its key;
original tufted red satin cushion still lines the bottom of the inside


*MONTBELIARD is located in eastern France in the Doubs département of the Franche-Comté region...distinguished by the Château des Ducs de Wurtemberg and the Peugeot car manufacturing plant, now running out of gas...?

**The Cross of Lorraine was the heraldic cross of the Dukes of Lorraine, the region bordering Alsace to the east, and north of the Franche-Comté... it was also held as a symbol for Joan of Arc and during the second World War was adopted as the official symbol by the Free French Forces.


"CHOCOLAT MENIER"* bronzy [brass?] lidded box
late19th/early 20th century, found at the St-Ouen flea market
[12.5 x 8.5 cm wide x 5.5 cm high]


*Chocolat MENIER was founded in 1816 in Paris by the Menier family as a pharmaceutical aside from their hardware company, and the chocolate was only used sparingly as a medicinal product to coat the bitter pills! After almost 150 years in business, the Menier family lost control of their company and had to sell it in 1960, eventually being brought into the Swiss Nestlé S.A. concern of today. [The chocolate producing factory that was built in Noisiel in 1825, and became the largest chocolate manufacturer in 19th century France, expanded in 1872 with "an iconic iron and brick factory building of the Industrial Revolution", which is now designated as an official "Monument historique" and will soon be included as a UNESCO World Heritage site.]


"K.L.G " painted tin lidded box
[I am not sure what K.L.G stands for and what had been stored inside this little box]
19th century?/early 20th century?, found at a brocante outside of Paris
[9 x 3.5 cm wide x 3 cm high]


printed on the front edge of the lid

printed on the back edge of the lid

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

les boîtes rondes

This round lidded tin box is one I have held onto for a while...and I have never come across another one quite like it!
The intricate design is pressed into what I believe to be lead, or a softer such metal, and then attached [glued?] onto the plain tin surface of the top and around the sides. Tiny milky "pierre de lune" [moonstones] are set in the center of the flowers like glistening drops of dew...

19th century, possibly one-of-a-kind homemade, found in a brocante outside Paris
[17 cm in diameter x 4 cm high]



This Paris souvenir box in plated silver needs a little polishing, but I love the way it has discoloured to a goldy sheen...

The date "1918" is etched above the crest of Paris and "Souvenir de Paris" is etched below the laurel branches.
[enlarge the image below to read]
[10 cm in diameter x 4 cm high]


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

rising temperatures...

My temperature is set arising by the well-formed naked gods who grace these two pieces...!

I believe this to be Aristée, son of Apollo and Cyrene, posing casually atop the pyramidal base attached with the thermometer gauge with the word "REAUMr" marked above - the Réaumur scale was formulated by René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur in 1730 and was widely used in France, Germany and Russia in the 18th century, but by the 19th century France had adopted the Celsius scale for the metric system, and nowadays the only use of the Réaumur scale is in the measuring of milk temperature in cheese production!...[perhaps that is why Aristée was chosen to crown this piece as he was once taught by the nymphs to curdle milk!!]
[1 degree Ré = 1.25 degree Celsius]

bronze, 19th century, found at an antique fair in Paris
[23.5 cm high/ 7.5 x 7.5 cm base/ statue 8 cm high]



This must be Zeus sitting astride his soaring eagle holding onto his thunderbolts and his sceptre, rather grandly commending a modest hair salon in Brest! A promotional novelty item with a non too reliable thermometer [in Celsius, but with diluted mercury??] that could accommodate any business concern on the plaque... this one advertising for:

36 rue d'Aiguillon
BREST Tel. 44.20.69"

metal, pre-1960's, found at a brocante in Brittany
[16 cm in length x 4 cm at widest]


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

little cups

I guess it makes sense for little "cups" to follow tiny "platters"!...
and the ones below are quite diverse in style and temperament... but they are all "precious" in their own way and I couldn't resist when I came upon each one of them!

bronze cup with a pattern of fleur-de-lis and the three royal animals around the sides in relief;
pre-1950's, found at the St-Ouen flea market, Paris
[6 cm high x 4.5 cm wide]

royal porcupine

royal ermine

royal salamander


silver baby cup on 3 balled feet, with the entire alphabet etched around the rim;
partially engraved marks "HOTEL DE PARIS" on both sides,
[it is claimed to be from the Hotel de Paris in Monaco]
pre-1950's, found at the Porte-de-Vanves flea market, Paris
[7 cm high x 6.5 cm wide at the top]



miniature silver-plated pedestal "champagne bucket",
with lion's heads and rings handles
pre-1950's, [I know this is English, but I am pretty sure I had found it in France!]
[7.5 cm high x 6.5 cm wide at the top/ 4.5 cm wide at the base]


detail of lion's head and ring handle

embossed on the bottom