Simply stunning is this antique 19th century French jewelry casket, richly decorated throughout with fine hand painted porcelain plaques. Signed: A. TAHAN à PARIS for the master cabinetmaker to Emperor Napoleon III, ébéniste de l'Empereur. Such works by TAHAN are well sought after. This box offered here is gorgeous, the framework is of gilt bronze decorated with plush silk velvet in a burgundy purple color. Surmounted by seven hand painted oval porcelain portrait plaques. The portraits are exquisite, the artist captured every bit of detail here, conveying charming portraits depicting clusters of various colorful flowers! In overall very good condition, retaining a working lock and key, with newer velvet lining. Measures 5 5/8" length x 3 1/2" wide x 3 1/8" tall.
Alphonse Tahan (1830-1880) was the official ébéniste de l'Empereur or master cabinet maker to Emperor Napoleon III and his wife, the Empress Eugénie. Known for her beauty and impeccable taste, the Empress Eugene enjoyed the reputation as a trend setter and favored the workshop of Tahan. Tahan Fabricant was located at 30 Rue de La Paix from 1849 and subsequently from 1878 at Boulevard des Italiens. His work was exhibited at The London Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851 and the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1855, and on both occasions were awarded medals. His work exhibits such quality and is in high demand by collectors and enthusiasts alike. Not only did he produce furniture, but also small articles, such beautiful wooden boxes and fine bronze jewelry caskets.