Here is an exquisite 19th-century jewelry or trinket box - luxurious and very feminine - topped with a delicious reverse-painting convex glass bezel.
There is a fine beading detail surrounding the image, with a braided cording surrounding that. A final beading completes the lid, with a tabbed base for opening and securing it quite safely to the box base. The sides of the box feature three chased ribbons, each separated by a plain, unmarked tailored band.
The bottom of the box has an all-over chased geometric design of circles, with centered and separating beads. The base measures 1.5" x 4.875" x 6" [3.8x12.4x15.2 cm] at its deepest, widest, and tallest.
The painting is exquisite: a finely rendered hand-painted portrait of a lovely young woman, her long hair loose and flowing and dressed only with a demure gauze drapery. We see her only in profile, her strong gaze looking away and down. Her bare shoulders and arms are not provocative - this isn't a teasing, but a testament only to Youth and Beauty.
Wonderfully detailed and glorious is its shading and color - her auburn brown hair is burnished, her cheeks dusted with youth's rose. My 10x loupe betrayed no errors, no mistakes either in composition or the young beauty's proportions.
We are lucky to have the artist's signature on the reverse porcelain, under the velveteen cover - "Erblüht", along with a handwritten '12' and 'II'. I'm assuming "Erblüht" is a signature but, as this is the German word for "Bloom", it just as easily could be a fitting title given to the painting. An incised '12' and a hallmark of a crown above a three-part crest, identifies it as a 19th century German piece, but I cannot identify the manufacturer.
The interior is fitted - sides, base, and lid - in a peach velveteen, quite faded. The metal box bears no assay marks, maker's marks or signatures of any kind and no issues. No signs of wear is seen on the metal box itself and the tab closes quite securely, with a definite *click*: clearly hand crafted, the lid fits snugly over the base and the hinge is strong and secure.
From the estate of an Illinois woman of German heritage, there is no other clue as to its original owner and provenance.
This will be a lovely addition to your dressing table or bath vanity.
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