Discover a Parisian Boudoir



Baroness Blanche Staffe wrote in her 1893 Etiquette book “The dressing room of every well-bred woman should be both elegant and comfortable in proportion to her fortune and position.”


Antique Hand Painted Limoges Vanity Tray, meant to hold perfume bottles and powder boxes.


Nowhere was this more true than in 19th century France, when a lady delighted in “getting ready” for the day or the evening at a luxuriously appointed vanity, her personal space for which she chose a glittering assortment of mirrors, brushes, boxes and products she used for making herself more beautiful.



Rare to find in this condition, this is a French Powder Compact with celluloid bottom, filigree decorative mounts on each corner, and an exceptional French romantic scene on the front. Unused, it comes in the original box and tissue from the shop of Georges Hautecoeur, 172 Rue de Rivoli, Paris.

Today, the exquisite objects they used in their private quarters are beloved for their high quality, great beauty, or simply for their whimsy, as some of these items are not things we use in our daily lives anymore.



This Apollo Studios Perfume Atomizer has a petite hand painted portrait on the front.

I count myself fortunate at FrenchGardenHouse to have fellow collectors of these feminine, romantic antiques of the past, and always rejoice when opening the parcels and boxes of boudoir antiques I gather especially for you fellow collectors!  I know you will revel right along with me and select from these sumptuous personal antiques that, though small, will add your personal and divine touch to your most private quarters.



Even a pincushion can be beautiful. Often embellished with porcelain half dolls, who would’t love to have dressmaking pins presented in such a grand manner as this?



Jewelry Boxes and Caskets fit for a queen, or in this case, with a hand painted portrait of Napoleon’s Empress on the top!


Boxes for the boudoir or dressing room came in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The one below was presented with a luxurious assortment of candy. Wrapped sweets were such a luxury, and they were quite costly. Luxury shops had special boxes designed with gold fittings, silk coverings and dressmaker details, each more luxurious than the next.




Writing {love} letters was done in private chambers, it would be delightful to pen a missive to one’s sweetheart with a writing set of this divine quality, non?



Hand Mirrors are always a luxury item that my fellow collectors of all things feminine and beautiful snap up. These are a few I acquired recently, they are available in the Boudoir.




These are a few of the latest acquisitions to feather your vanity, bedroom, or bathroom, and to add to your collection of all things romantically feminine. Fine quality luxuries to aid in the daily celebration of you.






French hardboard box covered with gold metallic lace and ribbon work rosettes, for keeping handkerchiefs or other small accessories.



This small celluloid bookmarked could be tied on a chatelaine, or perhaps tied with a silk ribbon in a favorite hue. The floral gilt embellishment adds a lovely feminine touch.



I hope you have enjoyed these romantic antiques from a time when women surrounded themselves with little luxuries to make them smile each time they saw them!


What do you do each day to make yourself feel beautiful?

10 thoughts on “Discover a Parisian Boudoir”

  1. These are so fun and so pretty. I love that ordinary objects are works of art. At the same time, looking at the hairstyles and clothes, I think, boy, am I glad I didn’t live back then. Hair in a ponytail, simple sundress, and I’m nice and comfortable on a warm summer day. When I see all those clothes they used to wear, I need to….get a nice big drink of ice water!

  2. John Paul

    As a man, I too can appreciate the high quality and beauty of these antiques. While most are a little too fussy for our farmhouse, a gilt desk set, a beautiful box, or a silver hand mirror fits right in our design here at our farmhouse. This is what I love about your FrenchGardenHouse, you sell a range of antiques, so that we can use them in our French Country homes, our more personal spaces as well as our kitchens.

  3. Really loved today’s post!! I have a few items that resemble the third photo-the round green jeweled box with the painting in the center. They belonged to my great aunt and are probably 1920’s vintage, maybe earlier. On the bottom they are marked “Empire Art Gold … E&JB”. They are quite beautiful works of art. I researched them on line and they aren’t inexpensive. I was really excited to see something similar shown in your blog today. I would love to think I have a Parisian boudoir in my own home!

    1. Vicky, so exciting! The Empire Art pieces were actually clad in real gold, and very high quality. Only luxury shops sold them. You are so fortunate to have inherited your great aunt’s treasure!

  4. Wonderful items, Lidy! As a collector of antique beaded and mesh purses, I was delighted to see your leading photo compact with the courting scene. I have that same image on an antique beaded purse with jeweled frame. I believe it is a reinterpretation, after Francois Boucher’s Lovers in A Park. I just love it. It is always a rarity to find antique items in their original packaging. You are a true huntress!

    1. Thank you Rita! Oh, I bet your purse is absolutely gorgeous! You are right, it’s always
      absolutely thrilling to find antiques in their original packaging, no matter what the condition of the box.

  5. PS – I didn’t mean your compact was anything other than genuine! I meant the image only was a reinterpretation of the original oil painting! Sorry for any confusion to your readers.

    1. Rita, I know what you meant…it’s a gorgeous painting, by one of my favorite romantic painters.

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