A highly desirable and fine antique gilt metal and silver-gilt Palais Royale musical necessaire,
French Royal Court
Very early sectional-comb movement by M. Bordier,
Stiches of beauty with woven in technical ingenuity...
When wound by key to top of glazed movement cover and the tune selected and started with the levers to rear, a musical air rings out, to accompany the visual delight of discovering the magnificent contents, comprising full necessaire in fitted lined compartmentalised interior, and when music comes to a halt, the other air may then be selected and the movement once again started, coming to an automatic stop.
The very fine and early top-wind Bordier cylinder musical movement comprising 17-part sectional comb with teeth in groups of four and extreme treble cluster of five, four-fin governor, on highly polished brass bedplate, mounted within lined cover with glazed top panel for movement view reveal, brass directional arrow engraved mount, topped by removable blue silk padded cushion with brass thumb grip.
The necessaire tray with full complete contents in silver and gold, with thimble, scissors, stitch pick, needle case, four bobbins and a pair of pattern rules, all inset beautifully and geometrically to the rich blue silk and ringed by light blue rope-twist borders, matching main edge border and finished by larger cream rope stand, lid interior with matching dressage, and twin lid stays.
In the exceptional shell-form gilt metal case, with the eye drawn immediately to the whole mother-of-pearl half-shell for entire lid, very finely engraved with a continuous garland of exotic flowerheads and leaved branches, with good shading detail and three-dimensional intimation, highlighted throughout subtly with lamp-black infill, the centre with framed bordered pictorial study of a port with large sailing vassal, a shore town and figures unloading goods.
The base of the finest gilt-metal the workshops of Palais Royale were renowned for, with superb tooled decoration of intertwining tulips to lid edge, shaped front and back of continuous panel comprising trailing vines and leaf trails, open palm leaves, oak leaf border between raised plain petit bands, raised upon five hairy lion paw feet with scalloped centre, start/stop and change/repeat levers to rear, with lid and winding keys.
size 22cm Wide by 18cm Deep by 9cm High
Point of Interest -
This Palais Royale example is one of the jewels of the crown in the world of mechanical music. Not too compact, the proportions have been deliberately executed to achieve the greatest surface area for the decoration to sides. Although, the form and general size of any shell-form box is conducted by the size of the shell itself, this piece makes sure the domed profile of the shell is used to full potential. The incised decoration on the shell surface, so very fine in detail, highlighted gently.
Re-lined at some point within the last few years, it follows the exact pattern, material and colour used at the time of its birth.
The cylinder movement is a very rare treat to see and hear. Bordier movements were much prized at the time and not many were made. Saved for best and indeed better boxes, it certainly matches the level of quality seen on the exterior. Listen to the tone of the music. The fineness of the combs of Bordier movements are still revered as equal to those by Grainer and L'Eppe.