A red leather on softwood Letterbox belonging to Mademoiselle S. Reichemberg.
The box is also lined in red leather and rather curiously does not have a lock but a simple push button catch, suggesting security was not an issue. The box has a strong hinge system with a brass bar running the full width to unite the 2 hinges. Aside from the opening for letters, the box is very similar to a dispatch box.
It is likely that the original owner was Suzanne Reichemberg, an actress in Paris. She was born in 1853 and elected an Associate of the Comedie - Francaise in 1872. She later married the Baron de Bourgoing in 1900. It is possible that Reichemberg used this box to collect her mail at the theatre she was performing at. Actresses were favourite subjects of photographers and newspapers at the end of the 19th Century and it is likely that Reichemberg consequently had many admirers. It is also believed by some that she was the model for Edouard Manet's painting Femme En Robe Du Soiree of 1878 and that the dish Crepe Suzette was named after her. Late 19th Century.