This box is so very tactile and once held it has the most wonderful feel. This will add something very special and rare to any collection, my photos dont do it justice. A very romantic item, the billet doux was the etui into which a rolled scroll of a love letter might be passed along or hand delivered by one's servant. A courrier's'envelope' of sorts, these became so associated with the intimate love notes carried within, that today the term is itself a romantic one.This elegant old etui is superb, both in form and in condition. These came in a myriad of forms, many survive and we see them in museums around the world. This one could well be on display in the Musee des Arts Decoratif in the Louvre in Paris, where many similar etui fascinate visitors every day. The case, typical of the genre, and is about 5 -1/4 inches in length, sometimes is confused as being a needles case, though of course it is not. This one is actually enameled in the Vernis Martin, a method of layering pigments and varnish a' la the brothers Martin, a method of surface decoration favored by Marie-Antoinette which proliferated during her time, and can today be seen in many applications in her quarters at the Palace of Versailles.
The Billet Doux, literally a sweet note, is the term for a love letter, essentially, and often rolled and sent by courier inside a beautiful little tube like the one i have offered for sale. The tube is, itself known as a billet doux for this reason. The one i have on offer is French and dates to circa 1770 and would be hand painted. Martin Family, French lacquerware artists of the period of Louis XV.
1770are remembered for perfecting the composition and application of vernis Martin, a lacquer substitute named after them, patented by Guillaume and Robert in 1730. In 1748 their factory became part of the Royal Factory of Furnishings to the Crown. Among their commissions were coaches and rooms at Versailles. Vernis Martin, lustrous lacquer substitute widely used in the 18th century to decorate furniture and such personal articles as brisé fans and snuffboxes. The process of adding bronze or gold powder to green varnish was perfected by the Martin family, hence its name vernis Martin (Martin varnish).
Highly praised by Voltaire, it was developed to imitate East Asian lacquerware being imported into France during the Louis XV period. Vernis Martin was made in several colours, green and a golden red being the most characteristic. All Antique silver items will show some signs of wear, which only adds to the history of the object..... The item "RARE GEORGIAN FRENCH VERNIS MARTIN HAND PAINTED BILLET DOUX-LOVE LETTER HOLDER" is in sale since Friday, December 7, 2018.
This item is in the category "Antiques\Silver\Solid Silver\Boxes". The seller is "silver_antiques_uk" and is located in United Kingdom. This item can be shipped worldwide.