19th Century blown glass tear catcher or scent bottle
This has beautiful gold gilt and design is lovely with an oval shape and what appears to be a flower then below that is 3 X shapes which is etched into the glass for a nice texture and the design repeats down the side of the bottle, this design is on 2 sides, the other 2 sides are smooth (no etching) and have what looks like gold hearts painted on. It measures 7.25 inches tall and approx 1/2 inch across and it is a very thick heavy glass.
No chips or cracks, a rough spot on bottom which is indicative to the hand blown process and has been covered with gold gilt so that is how I can determine it is not a chip. There is normal wear to the gold, actually the etched sides are very good with only light wear. There is a tiny bit of discoloration inside the bottle and there is no topper, which is often common with these.
This dates around 1860-1870's. There are several ways these were used, either as a scent bottle, which women would get them filled with rosewater or lavender and bring them home to pour into their own perfume bottles. Another theory of use was collecting tears when a loved one passed away and after a year of mourning one would either leave the bottle at the grave for the tears to evaporate (which is why most do not have stoppers) or they would simply sprinkle the bottle of tears over the grave.
It is said during the Civil War, men going off to fight the war would often give these to their wives and sweethearts for them to collect their tears they shed while they were gone and when the men returned home they would see the tear filled bottles and know how much they were missed. Sadly most of them did not return and the bottles served the other purpose of mourning.
The use of weeping bottles has been referenced back to the very olden days, when often times people were paid to collect their tears in bottles as they walked a funeral procession.
In Roman times they would collect tears and place at tombs to show respect.
These have such a Gothic Romantic feel about them.
This is a fantastic historic collectible.
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