limoges porcelain boxes, Wonderful World

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Limoges Porcelain Boxes, Wonderful World

Wonderful World

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Some people like to buy souvenirs of their travels while they are where they want to remember having been. I don't. I find that when you are, wherever it is that you are, all you can find is a lot of touristy trash, nothing worth while and nothing that you would really want to keep forever. You get a bit more perspective when you have left that country and start thinking back about it. Then is when you know what you loved best about it and what you really want to remember and what will make you remember it. My heavens, that's a real mouthful but I think you get the gist of what I am saying. Looking at something in retrospect gives you a much better perception of it. So here are some reminders of places and things you might have seen in your travels or maybe what you are hoping to see in future travels in which case, don't let your desire to see the real thing clutter up your thoughts when you can have these marvelous pieces that are constant and instant reminders of the real thing.

A. Chenonceau, in The Loire Valley. One of the great chateaux of France. The keep, the small round building at the right of the castle, was built in medieval times and is all that remains of the original structure. The castle itself was started in 1512 and completed in 1521. In 1580 the new wing was added using the bridge span over the River Cher for its base. Diane de Poitier, a courtesan and Henri II's mistress, was given the splendid castle by Henri and it was she who had the bridge constructed. Want to know more about it? Read "Chateaux of the Loire". Retail: Upwards of $249.90. Our price: $225.90. Not new but certainly one of the best travel boxes ever.

B1. The Eiffel Tower Box. Standing on a map of Paris with some of the points of interest noted, the Le Tour Eiffel looks just as it does when you see it. It towers over everything around it and glistens and sparkles in the sunlight making it seem like a huge jeweled pendant. You can see it from almost any point in Paris and from it's viewing deck you can see all of the roofs of Paris. Built for the Paris Exposition of 1889, the lacy steel structure has stood for more than a century. Today, The Tower, which was originally built just for the Exposition and intended to be a not permanent structure, has become the most visible symbol of Paris the world over. Parisians still flock to it and visitors to Paris head there the very first thing. Inside the box, a Metro car, painted, and the clasp says Paris. Retail: About $245.00. Our price: $219.90. NEW A marvelous memento of that glorious city. NOTE: An interesting sidelight for Americans: Gustave Alexandre Eiffel, the designer and builder of the Le Tour Eiffel, also designed the structural framework for our Statue of Liberty which, you will recall, was given us by the citizens of France.

B2. Le Tour Eiffel Box. As it looked when it was first built, then the tallest structure in Paris and now, the tallest structure in Paris still. If you are wondering why we have two of these that are so different, that's why we have them both because the boxes are so different. Inside, the crossed staves of the flag of France, painted, and the clasp, a tiny Eiffel Tower. Retail: About $185.00. Our price: $166.90.

C. The Paris Opera House on Place de l'Opera. Who would visit Paris and not see this imposing structure with its sweeping grand staircase and breathtaking chandelier not to mention the ceiling mural by Chagall, a subject of much controversy for many years. Built in 1875 it housed the opera until just a few short years ago when it became the home of ballet in Paris. It is still just as chic and elegant as ever. Inside the box a mask, removable. A reminder of the years when the opera was in residence. Retail: Upwards of $301.00. Our price: $270.90. NEW and extraordinary! (This box is larger than our usual boxes, 3" wide by 3 1/4" high.

D1. A Painting of Paris on an Easel. Looking down the Seine past Le Pont Neuf with the bell towers of Notre Dame on the right and in the distance Le Tour Eiffel. Slightly foreshortened and the artist has taken a bit of license insofar as where the structures are in relation to each other but a bit of Paris nonetheless. Inside, "I Love Paris" and the clasp, a fleur de lis. Retail: Upwards of $213.00. Our price: $181.90.

E. The Arc de Triomphe Box. We've had several different versions of the Arc de Triomphe and this is the latest version. Somehow, I can't feel that we are giving you the best of the Paris boxes without having a box of The Arc. So, this is a new version of it and is an excellent replica of the Arc. The box is done completely in bas relief and running your hand across it you will feel most of the relief work done on the Arc itself. Inside the actual Arc there is a small museum filled with historical documents and drawings relating to the Arc and the building of it. The Arc was started by Napoleon in 1806 in honor of his army which had just won the Battle of Austerlitz, it’s greatest triumph. It was not completed until 1836 because there was the small matter of the demise of Napoleon's power but ultimately it was completed and has become the most famous triumphal arch in the world. Inside the box, Arc de Triomphe, painted, and the clasp is a replica of the Arc. Retail: About $193.00. Our price: $173.90.

E 2.  The Arc de Triomphe Box. Rochard has come up with a fresh edition of the Arc de Triomphe that is very nicely done and for those of you who have not purchased one over the years this may well be the one you want.  Certainly if you have been to Paris it is a box that you should own.  The detail on this one is beautifully painted, every stone delineated separately, and it has the Eternal Flame just under the arch as well.  I don’t recall any other Arc ever having that detail shown.  Just above the clasp are the Flags of France, painted, and the clasp is a miniature of the Arc. Retail: About $220.00.  Our price: $198.90.

A bit of historical information about the Arc:   Inside the actual Arc there is a small museum filled with historical documents and drawings relating to the Arc and the building of it. The Arc was started by Napoleon in 1806 in honor of his army which had just won the Battle of Austerlitz, it’s greatest triumph. It was not completed until 1836 because there was the small matter of the demise of Napoleon's power but ultimately it was completed and has become the most famous triumphal arch in the world.

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