French wooden Spa-counter box, hand-painted landscape ‘LA GERONSTERRE’ c. 1770
French wooden Spa-Counter box with applied paper & hand painted scenes en grissaille on a pale blue ground, the domed lid with print of a pleasure garden, titled ‘LA GERONSTERRE’, the sides with plant growths, the interior lined with red lacquer.
8.3×6.2cm, 3.8cm high
worn to decoration, a yellowed varnish changing the original colour.
These interesting boxes were an early souvenir, depicting scenes around favourite spa towns of France. Examples occur with four of this sized box fitting snugly inside a larger one with the same type of decoration, on either pale blue like this example, or yellow. The four boxes would hold gaming pieces of four different pieces for card games, the favourite entertainment of the period.
ref. Christies London 27 May 1993, lot 22 for an identical counter-box dated 1768