c1825 Sapphire Blue Oxford Lavender Scent Bottle (enameled & jeweled, cut & gilded)
Some writers, however have regarded these bottles as throwaway bottles where they were purchased as containers for transporting their valuable contents home after which the contents were transferred to more permanent containers. And the fact that this bottle cannot stand upright on its own probably gave rise to this kind of throwaway interpretation. Finally, the kinds of contents that this small capacity bottle may have carried have been identified as lavender scent from Oxfordshire, Attar or Otto of Rose. And so an accurate cultural understanding of these enigmatic late Georgian to early Victorian scent bottles still remains elusive today despite the many suggestions offered on the Internet. About all that is clear here is that the example offered in this listing is among of the more decorative and elaborate Oxford-type scent bottles currently being offered on the market today.
The following description applies to the cobalt blue ribbon-style scent bottle listed here and those others that are exactly like it. First, these elongated rectangular glass bottles are not hand blown but drawn and worked as a solid ribbon of glass much like an extra thick and very large glass bead. One end of the ribbon of glass was worked by hand to create a neck and shoulder (see close up photo of neck). The opposite end was ground down by a glass cutter after the bottle had cooled and so there is no evidence of a pontil. A pontil would have been necessary for holding the bottle while the neck and lip were finished before a small snap case tool became common after 1860. The lip on this bottle is fire polished and not cut and ground like many 19th century Bohemian glass vessels and bottles. Notably, the narrow hollow cavity running down the center of this bottle and that starts at its lip actually stops some three inches from the base. This cavity was not hand blown into the bottle, but instead was inserted and formed by carefully jabbing a pointed metal rod down the center of the ribbon glass. The diameter of this cavity was then subsequently widened in the neck area by grinding after the bottle had cooled so that a glass stopper or cork would seat well. The narrow width of the cavity below the shoulder suggests that any glass stopper with a long rod-like extension would have been impractical since the extension would have both greatly reduced capacity of the bottle and would have been extremely fragile. Instead a short cone-shaped extension continuing for about 1/2 inch below the main body of stopper would have been more efficient.
The decoration on each of the two broad sides of this bottle consists of four oval concave-cut panels bordered by copper wheel engraved star cuts. There are four 4-petaled flowers in light pinkish-purple with a ruby red glass center in each that occupy each of the oval concave-cut panels. Each of the enameled flowers also has four caramel brown stamens or branches (see close up photos). The enamel flowers and the cut six-pointed stars are accented with bright gold. The lip, base and fours sides are also accented with gilding. The two narrow sides of the bottle have a stylized central flower flanked elongated tears and round drops of light pinkish-purple enamel. The enamel is vitrified in composition and appears opaque and porcelain-like where it has been worn down. The enamel is also strong enough to hold the cabochon-type red glass beads in place despite the fact that each bead stands proud and rises above the face of the bottle even though they are placed in a concave cut panel (see photos that show how the red glass beads stick out from the face of the bottle).
Last of all, these ribbon-style Oxford scent bottles occur in clear glass as well as yellowish-amber, green and of course a rich sapphire transparent blue. They were apparently produced in England as well as in Europe (Bohemia). Some of those bottles imported from Europe would arrive plain and then be cut, enameled, gilded and decorated in England. The one for sale here was probably produced, cut and decorated in England since it has a fire polished lip and the very appropriate lilac-tinted enameling. The bottle still has a thick silver foil wrapping adhering to parts of its neck and lip and a very small patch of amber colored wax that was used to cover the foil. The filled bottle would have been closed with either a glass or cork stopper and then wrapped tightly in foil and then sealed with a wax to keep its contents intact. The lip has two chips that occurred when the neck was ground since both of the chip were subsequently covered with gold gilding and the gold covered with the silver foil. If the chipping happened after the bottle was purchased, then the chips would not be covered with any of the original gold or foil (see full Condition notes below). An so this is a wonderful bejeweled encrusted example of a hard to find Oxford lavender bottle in beautiful transparent sapphire blue for the antique collector or dealer-specialist. And as always, this scent bottle also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy for a refund (see full Return Policy details farther below).
SIZE: This blue bottle measures 7 5/16 inches long and has an interior lip opening that is 5/16 inches across. The bottle is mostly solid with a small capacity cavity that probably holds about 2 ml total. It is not perfectly rectangular in cross section, but slightly twisted since it was hand formed on a marver and not shaped in a mold. The clear cobalt blue color and its encrusted paste rubies and shiny gold decoration will display and are guaranteed to capture attention in any setting.
CONDITION: The blue scent bottle is in very good condition with no major damage and only minor wear to its gold enameling and applied cabochon-type glass rubies. The gold gilding is more than 90% intact and all of the encrusted red cabochons are present. Also, the bottle has no chips (see next sentence), no hairlines, no star cracks, no stains, no deep scratches, no repairs and no restorations. The lip has two chips that are from the original production of the bottle and that occurred apparently when the inside of the neck was being ground since both chips were subsequently covered with gold gilding and them the gold was covered with a silver foil to seal the original contents. If the chipping happened after the bottle was purchased and opened, then the chips would not be covered over by original gold (see photos). And so a better jewel decorated Oxford lavender bottle would be hard to find today without paying a lot more than the amount offered here. Finally, if the buyer is not completely satisfied, then she/he may return this cobalt blue scent bottle for a refund (see our refund policy noted below).
SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $12.80 for well packed and insured USPS Priority Mail (this is an estimated savings of about $2 to $5 since insurance is also INCLUDED in the above quoted amount for all mainland US addresses). If you live in Texas or in an adjacent state, simply email me for a revised quote. No handling or packing fees are ever charged and fragile items will be double packed for maximum protection. All international buyers will pay only the exact shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland. Insurance against loss or damage is not available on International First Class Parcels (limited to 4 lbs maximum weight), International Economy shipping or some International Priority Shipping. The International buyer will be asked to acknowledge this fact or upgrade to an International shipping option with insurance against loss or damage (email us for an insured International shipping quote). We have shipped fragile items to 26 countries around the globe to date and have not had any items lost or broken, however this fact does not guarantee that no postal mishandling will ever occur in the future. Also, please note that International import duties, taxes and other charges are not included in the item price or shipping costs and these additional charges are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes should your country allow such petitions for items over 100 years old. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.
RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques Ruby Lane listings -- please refer directly to our Service Pledge and our Return Policy for full details. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with the purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within ten days of original receipt for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable). Items damaged by shipping in the US are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we double box, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary (to date, we have had only two claims for damage from shipping in over eight years). Of course, never send an item back that was damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help and we will gladly assist.
PAYMENT OPTIONS: We accept checks on US Banks (no temporary checks, all checks must have 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal or contact us with your verified address for more options. If you wish to use a credit card by way of Paypal, that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order (see Terms of Sale for additional information). Once submitted, a PayPal icon will appear at the bottom of this listing and then you may proceed from there if you wish to pay via Paypal. Thanks for looking and do come back and visit again when you have the time.
Item ID: RL532.a1431
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