This small tray once carried two lidded pots for cosmetics, which would have sat on the two circular spaces in the design. The tray probably formed part of a larger toilet service consisting of a matching mirror, brushes, combs, and assorted pots and boxes for makeup and jewelry. The center of the tray displays the engraved arms of the marquis de Menars.
The toilet service was first developed at the end of the 1600s in France, where it was often given as a wedding present to the bride from her new husband. The range of boxes and containers, sometimes consisting of more than thirty pieces, was arranged on her dressing table, creating an impressive display when she received guests in her bedroom, as was the custom of the day.