This is such a beautiful piece... I must say, I have never seen anything like it. I've been through hundreds and hundreds of photos on Google Images and absolutely nothing like it appears. The first to strike you is its shear size. Looking just a bit closer the open and beautiful pierced scroll work on the front is fascinating. When you open the vinaigrette, the center piece (also open and pierced) lifts out to expose the area in which your perfume soaked cotton ball would be placed.
This is such a well marked piece. It is hallmarked everywhere. On the piece that lifts out, it is hallmarked PATENT 1889 on the upper right corner. Below that, full Lion's head. The upper left corner is hallmarked Lion, anchor and Capital letter G. Below that on the lower left is the artist number 635. Inside the piece was completely gold washed over Sterling. The marks inside read Lion, Anchor, G, Pat 1889, STERLING, 635 and a full Lion's head. In England, these symbols mean; sterling (lion), anchor (town of Birmingham), and G (date mark). Although an American based company, these English (looking) marks were an attempt, by Gorham, to have its wares recognized as quality. This anchor stands for the port town of Providence, but the "G" stands for Gorham...not a date.
This is one of the most impressive Vinaigrette I have seen. The workmanship second to none. This Puffy heart has a retractable bail so it can be worn as a necklace. Or, can be displayed. I'm certain that no perfume or scent has ever been put inside. There is no sign of wear to the gold wash except a tiny smudge from a price sticker. The removable portion fits tight however you really have to line it up just perfectly for it to marry together. The measurements are as such.. Without the bail the heart measures 2" x 1 3/4" across. It is 7/8" deep. With the bail that not only retracts but moves side to side it hangs 2 3/8 long." The heart weighs 26.9 grams. The only apology would be on the very back where there is one small shallow scratch. Also when you feel the scratch there is the most insignificant indentation which can be felt more than seen. Other than that, Excellent Antique condition, Circa 1890, Gorham, American Made. An Extraordinary piece fit for the very finest of collections. Perhaps a Perfume Bottle collector may have some interest. Questions are always welcome and encouraged.
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