ANTIQUE SILVER VINAIGRETTES
Antique Silver vinaigrettes Description:
A small box with hinged lid and internal hinged grill containing a piece of natural sponge soaked in a aromatic vinegar. Used to counteract unpleasant odours.
Antique Silver vinaigrettes History:
The earliest known examples date from the 15th century but they are rare in silver before 1780. The vast majority were made in the 19th century and they can be found up to 1900.
Antique Silver vinaigrettes Design:
The vast majority were rectangular but there are many other examples in various forms. They were used regularly and on view in various social situations. So they were often designed to impress. Therefore silversmiths were asked to create more and more impressive designs including cast or engraved scenes of notable landmarks and views. They were also made in various forms such as in the shapes of fish, bells, helmets, beehives, books, hand-bags, nuts, horns, flowers, shells, and barrels etc. Their interiors were gilded to prevent corrosion.
Antique Silver vinaigrettes Collectors Note:
The level of craftsmanship and their aesthetic qualities determine their value. Unusual shapes, scenes, and forms command the highest prices. But they must also be undamaged with good clear hallmarks, crisp detail, and well-fitting lids/hinges.