A vinaigrette or perfume/cologne casket is usually a small silver box or casket with hinged lid that opens to expose a small sponge soaked in an oily sweet smelling substance. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries they were used by both men and woman and were generally carried while traveling to give a pleasant aroma as the streets or traveling companions could often not smell the best. Also used by the ladies to contain scented vinegar to ward off faintness due to hot weather, heavy clothing or maybe just to be fashionable.
This fantastic hinged box or casket is probably English in origin, circa 1820 - 1860. It is hallmarked "H H" with a "12". The hexagonal design creates an elegant elongated six panel shape, with an embossed basket of flowers on the lid, while the six sides are decorated two panels with a flower filled vase and four panels with vintage grapes and leaves. It measures 1 1/2" long, 1" wide and 1 3/8" high. The original sponge is still inside and emits a sweet aroma. There are no damages; hinge works fine; retains a lovely old patina. One of the finest examples I have seen.
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