An exceptionally fine antique 19th Century French perfume caddy by Alphonse Giroux, a cabinetmaker of the Napoleon III era whose works are highly revered as the finest in Paris during this time period, of a caliber as Tahan and Vervelle. This superb perfume box features elegant serpentine shaping with a slightly domed lid and comprises of alternating kingwood veneers. Embellished with gilt bronze mounts. The lid decorated with an oval Sevres style porcelain plaque mounted into a bronze framework. Hand painted with a charming vignette of colorful flowers, accented with gilt enamel and a blue border. Working lock and key to the box. Signed on the lock plate with Alph. Giroux et Cie, Paris. Opening to reveal a fitted interior housing four elegant Baccarat cut crystal scent bottles with faceted stoppers, hand painted with gilt flourishes and trim. Polished pontils to the bases. Unsigned but undoubtedly early Baccarat bottles that predate the 1936 acid etched labels. The famed cristallerie used paper labels from 1860 to 1936, which often got lost, worn or washed away. In good condition with some wear commensurate with age and use. The bottles are all matching and appear to be original to the box. One bottle is cracked and one bottle has a chip to the edge of the rim, as shown, a couple of nicks to a stopper or two. Measures 8 1/8" length x 5 5/8" wide x 4 1/2" tall. The bottles measure 3" height x 1 3/4" wide.
Founded in 1799 by Simon Alphonse Giroux (1775-1848) Parisian cabinetmaker and official restorer for Notre Dame, the firm of "Maison Alphonse Giroux" also known as "Giroux & Cie" was located at 7 rue du coq Saint-Honoré in Paris. Specializing in producing fine objects d'art and exquisite furniture for a list of wealthy clientele and patronized by members of the French Royal Family, including Louis XVIII, Charles X, Henri V and especially Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie. Giroux was also a relative of Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, the French artist and scientist who invented the daguerreotype. Giroux contributed to Daguerre's success by making the first production of the camera, "La Daguerrotype," in fine walnut. In 1838, the business was taken over by his eldest son, Alphonse Gustave Giroux. Under his guidance and innovative planning, the business grew to become one of the first and most prestigious department stores in Paris, while continuing to take important commissions for custom work. The firm received a silver medal at the 1839 Exposition des l'Industrie Francaise and produced pieces for the World Exposition of 1855.