This rare and symbolic vinaigrette was given as a love token. The use of a vinaigrette was utilitarian and perfume was placed on a tiny piece of sponge and then carefully placed beneath the pierced grid. When a woman or young lady would be in a carriage, there were often unpleasant vapors from the streets, and this lovely item would be discretely opened and with a sniff, the odor would be dispelled.
In this fine example, a beautifully modeled pendant with interior compartment, all in 14 karat gold, is centered with a faceted topaz. The topaz, a precious stone, was reserved for the finest of jewels as it was scarce and expensive. The pendant has a chain on the bottom that attaches two miniature charms, a key and a garnet heart. The symbolism is "you have the key to my heart." The reverse is in Arabic, and I had an associate help me translate. It means "Azizaon" meaning it was given to a person as a sign of great affection.
It was made during the Georgian period, circa 1820.
The vinaigrette alone, measures 3/4 inches across X 5/8ths down. The measurement with the top chain and bail to the bottom of the charms is 1.5 inches long.
Excellent condition. The chain is available separately for purchase.
Rare, symbolic and very beautiful.