An étui is a small case that contains miniature implements used to perform household tasks. These were designed and worn primarily by and for women. They often have a tapered or oval shape and fashioned out of chased gold or gilt. An étui would contain nécessaire items that were useful in everyday life. Men carried a version of an étui which might hold a watch, keys and a seal or fob. Women often suspended their étui from a "châtelaine", usually on the opposite side from the watch to provide balance.
This c1750 gilded rococo étui has been set with central bloodstone panels on both front and back. It hangs from a decorated swivel bail and hinges open to reveal its contents - a pair of scissors, a folding fruit knife, an "aide-de-memoire" tablet and a snuff spoon. Missing two utensils, likely tweezers and pencil or toothpick. One side of the hinge has come away a bit but, is secure. The push button closure works very well and the cap closes securely. Please see all photos.
It measures 4" long (not including the hanging portion), 1 11/16" at its widest and 13/16" deep. Weighs 98g.
A wonderful and scarce piece of history, having most of its original contents and bloodstone panels with beautiful depth.
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