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French Billet Doux Etui

A positively charming antiquity, the Billet Doux Etui.  Billet Doux Etui, translated in English means Sweet Note or Love Letter Case.  These special cases were used for sending brief love notes to a betrothed, or beloved.  Only a trusted and loyal courier would deliver the billet doux.  This discreet practice began in the late 1600’s and went well in the 1800’s.  It is even depicted in the works of several well know artists from that time period.

Billet doux cases are in themselves lovely little works of art.  This beautiful example is hand painted and very decorative.   Finely detailed images of figures, florals, and Cupid are set amid an equally detailed background of predominantly black and gold.  It is in very good condition, and the interior of the bottom portion is also lined with tortoise shell.

Steeped in romantic history, billet doux cases are highly collectible today.  They make very special gifts — and have even been used to carry a marriage proposal or two.

8 1/2″ Length

Circa 1850


SKU: RJ 2551 $675
If you are interested in similar items, please contact us through our website or phone the Renaissance Showroom at 805-688-1976, open seven days a week from 10 to 6.
  • French
  • Billet Doux Etui
  • Hand Painted
  • Tortoise Shell Liner
  • 8 1/2″ Length
  • Circa 1850