A SUPERB TRAVELLING CASE BY AUCOC
This superb brass-bound travelling case is inland with vines, trellis and a European armorial flanked by angels. It opens to reveal a red velvet interior with a selection of 15 faceted glass containers, all with incised and chased silver gilt lids and also a chocolate-making set. There is a bradawl and turning key with two integral screws for attaching the whole case to a tilting surface when travelling. Beneath the two corner jars are the glass drip pans for the candlesticks protected by velvet pads. A porcelain cup nestles under a further pot.
The central removable tray covers a pad with eighteen various manicure implements with tortoiseshell handles. In the compartment beneath are two ink bottles, two candlesticks, a pocket watch/ bedside clock, a porcelain saucer, letter-writing accessories and the keys to the case. Below is a collection of five boxes holding brushes, combs, matches, a shoe horn and a pair of hair pinchers. This final section lifts out to give access to three secret drawers. The inside of the lid is fitted with an arched silver gilt easel mirror behind a velvet and silk document wallet which contains a leather blotting paper case. The entire ensemble is decorated with the same motifs and armorial as the outer box, with scrolling acanthus leaves on a turned ground within leaf wrapped reed borders. Inscribed Aucoc ainé à Paris.
The fact that this case comes complete with its original outer leather carrying case and is equipped with candles, a chocolate-making set, porcelain cup and saucer and the mechanism for holding it steady in transit, provides proof that this was a travelling case of considerable luxury rather than a vanity or dressing case.
15 cut glass containers with incised silver gilt lids, a matching canister and beaker
A chocolate pot with a stand, heater and covered water pot
18 implements for sewing, manicure and dressing
Two candlesticks with glass dip pans
A porcelain cup and saucer
A silver gilt bell
A leather needle case
A pocket or bedside watch
5 leather boxes of tortoiseshell brushes
A tortoiseshell shoe horn and hair tongs
An extensive set of letter writing accessories
The original cloth protective outer carrying case
A silver gilt easel mirror within a pointed arched frame
From a private collection.
Louis Aucoc founded his silver-smithing business at 154 rue St. Honoré, Paris in 1821. By 1835 he had moved to 6, rue de la Paix, the most fashionable road in Paris and home to all the great jewellery houses. In 1854 Louis retired and his son, also named Louis, took over the business. He added jewellery manufacturing to their lines of silverware, engaged René Lalique and purchased the Maison Lobjois, consolidating the business under the name of La Maison Aucoc. They participated in all the major business international exhibitions, contributing chased gold Art Nouveau jewellery and Lalique pieces.
The outside of Aucoc’s showroom at 6, rue de la Paix