Solid silver Vinaigrette. Hallmarked. You can see the mark of recognition for works carried out prior to 1824 and in storage at the silversmiths, used by the inspectors of the Office of the Mark of the Kingdom of Sardinia, in Turin.
Perhaps the smallest kind of silver box, sometimes no larger than a postage stamp, is the vinaigrette. They have often a fretted grille inside, under which a sponge soaked in aromatic "vinegars" was kept to assist in fainting fits or to overcome bad smells. The English (mostly from Birmingham) came in all kind of shapes, as books, purses, shells, acorns, nuts, barrels, strawberries, helmets, beehives, snails, watches, chests, in fact almost everything you can think of. Some of them are set with semi-precious stones, or they may be wholly of these stones and set with silver.
Predecessor of the vinaigrette was the pomander, itself a descendant of the "pomme d'ambre", or apple of amber, and incidentally ancestor of the dried orange stuck with cloves which one once used, but they generally take the form of a round contrivance with up to eight segments rather like those of th orange itself; they open individually and disclose compartments filled with herbs and oils.
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