A late nineteenth century French silver and niello vesta case. c. 1890.
This unusual and interesting vesta case was made in France towards the end of the nineteenth century. It is decorated with niello, a mixture of sulphur, copper, silver and lead, which is mixted into a paste, applied and fired to harden in a similar process to enamelling. Although not exclusively so, this form of decoration is usually applied to silver, leaving a colour not unlike blued steel or graphite. Most of the niello ware of this time came from France or Russia.
This very pleasing French vesta case is 5cm long, 3cm wide and 1cm deep. (Measurements approximate). It is in fine condition, showing wear appropriate only to its age and substance. It has no damage and no restoration.