Antique Silver

Established 1992.

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Antique Silver scent bottles Description:

A type of container for storing and applying perfume, cologne, and / or eau de toilette.

Antique Silver scent bottles History:

Most people today when talking about scent and perfume bottles normally envisage a smallish receptacle often with a glass or crystal body from the Victorian period. But infact scent bottles, in the shape of flasks with pendant chains, sometimes known as Pilgrim flasks, have been made since the 16th century. Early English examples with silver bodies were made as part of toilet services as early as the mid-17th century. However, all these early examples are extremely rare, and the vast majority of table and hand-bag scent bottles were made in the 19th and 20th centuries. They are still being made today.

Antique Silver scent bottles Design:

There is a huge range of styles and designs and this is what many collectors find appealing. Varying from the beautifully hand-made and chased solid silver styles of the 17th century toilet service, through fantastic Victorian examples with crystal bodies in the shape of an animal, to simple ascetic forms from the Art Deco period. But all of them had the same basic design based on a container to hold the perfume, either in silver, crystal, or glass, and an opening with a silver lid through which the scent is applied. The lid was either made with a screw thread and internal cork to stop leaks, or made hinged, in which case a glass stopper was also required. The lids were often hand-engraved or chased, and the glass or crystal bodies were often hand-cut or frosted-cut with floral and geometric patterns.

Antique Silver scent bottles Collectors Note:

If the bodies are made from glass or crystal then check closely for any damage including chips, and inspect, especially inside, where the lid is attached to the body for any cracks. If the lid is hinged check the hinge for broken knuckles or repairs, and make sure that there is no large lateral movement indicating a worn hinge. If the lid is a screw-thread type then make sure it is not cross-threaded and check the condition of the interior cork. If the body is all silver then make sure that the main hallmark and mark on the lid match. Very early examples will command high prices, but very unusual designs from the Victorian period can also fetch considerable sums, especially if, in the case of hand-bag scent bottles, they have their original satin and velvet-lined presentation boxes.

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