This detailed French Cave a Liqueur is from the middle of the 19th century. These boxes became popular around this time, and some beautiful examples were made for the growing bourgeoisie class of France. The boxes were fitted with locks and keys to prevent household help from drinking and then adding water to expensive liqueurs.
This particular Cave A Liqueur has been constructed from ebonized wood with magnificent inlays of rosewood, mother of pearl, and bronze. There are four crystal flasks and fourteen crystal liqueur glasses all positioned on two levels of carved wood. The entire front of the box has a shaped front panel, which folds down while open to show off its intricate crown motif. The borders are scrolling rinceau with fleur-de-lis at each corner and another motif at the center of each border. All of the floral and foliate motifs are filled with tiny bits of exotic wood, mother of pearl and outlined in brass.
The retracting arm on the left side is split and locks the top in place while in the open position. To close, you must squeeze at the arm to release the movement. This period Napoleon III Cave a Liqueur is incredibly detailed and will be the highlight of any area it is placed in.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with replaced stopper on one decanter, minor surface cracking and nicks. Replaced key. Side glasses between decanters missing, but does not detract visually from overall appearance. Please see photos.