This box is so very tactile and once held it has the most wonderful feel. It is hallmarked to the silver interior but to rubbed to make out. This will add something very special and rare to any collection, my photos dont do it justice. A very romantic item, the billet doux was the etui into which a rolled scroll of a love letter might be passed along or hand delivered by one's servant. A courier's'envelope' of sorts, these became so associated with the intimate love notes carried within, that today the term is itself a romantic one.This will add something very special to any collection, my photos dont do it justice.. The Billet Doux came in a myriad of forms, many survive and we see them in museums around the world. This one could well be on display in the Musee des Arts Decoratif in the Louvre in Paris, where many similar etui fascinate visitors every day. The case, typical of the genre, and is about 4-3/4 inches in length, sometimes is confused as being a needles case, though of course it is not. This one is actually inlaid in the in solid silver over Mother of Pearl and has a gold gilt finish. The Billet Doux was favoured by Marie-Antoinette which proliferated during her time, and were used daily at the Palace of Versailles. The Billet Doux, literally a sweet note, is the term for a love letter, essentially, and often rolled and sent by courier inside a beautiful little tube like the one i have offered for sale. The tube is, itself known as a billet doux for this reason. The one i have on offer is French and dates to circa 1780 and would be hand inlaid.
These are truly fascinating old treasures of the era of Marie-Antoinette and shortly before/afterward, and while some misidentify them as being cigar cases, they have a much more fascinating history. This is a French'billet doux', roughly translated, it means'sweet note'. In those times, it was white usual for the elite and titled, (and Royals) to have affairs, clandestine meetings with amour as theme, and of course other correspondences with friends and love interests. The typical passing of messages, hand carried by the courier or trusted servant of one person to the intended recipient, these'billet doux' would hold within them a rolled up and sometimes wax-sealed note. Once received and read, the recipient would often be expected to respond and send the servant back with his or her reply again rolled and housed within the billet doux.Careful of my husband, Marie Antoinette told indiscreet amour. Marie-Antoinette warned her Swedish admirer to be more careful after Louis XVI, her husband, almost stumbled across one of his secret messages to the French queen. 4 -3/4 inches in length. In lovely original condition with some loss to the inlay as you would expect in a Billet Doux of this age , just mentioned for accuracy. The item "BEAUTIFUL FRENCH Louis XVI SILVER-MOTHER of PEARL BILLET DOUX-LOVE LETTER HOLDER" is in sale since Thursday, August 5, 2021. This item is in the category "Antiques\Silver\Solid Silver\Boxes". The seller is "silver_treasures" and is located in ledbury. This item can be shipped worldwide.