Antique Georgian gilt bronze and agate hardstone etui / necessaire.
Made in England circa 1870.
Measures 3 1/2 inches long.
Classic shaped etui - rounded at front and back, flaring gently towards the top.
Made of gorgeous hardstone agate, probably from Scotland, with natural striations and variations in colour, ranging from mustards and creams through shades of green and red.
Mounted in gilt bronze, hand engraved in simple patterns, typical of the Georgian era.
INside, the etui is gilt metal, fitted to hold the various tools and implements that a woman might need.
These include: a needle for darning; a ruler measured in inches; a cut steel tweezers with file on the handle; a long-handled small-bowled spoon, which we thought was for snuff, but which we are told was an 'ear wax scoop and toothpick, common in Georgian etuis'; a larger gilt spoon for salt; a bodkin with another needle; a handle for a knife in gilt; a steel knife blade that screws into the handle (see 'photos); a pair of scissors.
One handle of the scissors needs to be rejoined.
Considering the age, use and delicacy of the etui / necessaire, it is in amazingly good condition.
THere are two very minor natural cracks in the stone, a tiny one on top, another, with the grain on the underneath.
Neither is noticeable or compromises the item in any way and are mentioned only for the sake of total accuracy.
It is very rare to find such an item with all of the original pieces.
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