Antique French sterling silver mounted cut crystal dual purpose opera flask and snuff box combination. Having a sterling silver lid, threaded collar and removable drinking cup attached at the base. The lid also serves as a snuff or pill box! The large domed lid has a cork lined interior, and is decorated with exquisite repousse of roses. This portion opens by way of a hinge, revealing a deep welled interior. Absolutely brilliant! The hinged snuff box opens smoothly and closes with a nice 'snap'. The cut crystal body is tapered and decorated with fluted pillars and strawberry diamonds. Hallmarked with the French Minerve 1st standard mark used from 1838 to 1919, which depicts the goddess Minerva with a number 1 beside her to denote a silver content of 950/1000 (of 95% pure silver and a higher finesse than .925 sterling). Bearing maker's marks for Parisian silversmiths Léon Lambert, active from 1881 to 1904, who commenced trade at 23 rue Vieille-du-Temple, Paris. Flask measures 6 3/8" length. In good condition for age and type. General wear and surface scratches from handling and use. The silver mounts are in good condition, no dings or dents. No damage, chips or cracks to the cut crystal body.
Often mistake for a lay down scent or perfume bottle, these charming flasks were meant originally for serving liquor, herbal restoratives or absinthe. They could easily hold a substantial amount of one's favorite liquor, to be served in the detachable tumbler / drinking cup that sheathes the base. Ideal for a 'shot' of whiskey or flavored liqueur. These highly collectible flasks are sometimes known as carriage flasks, handy for short travel. Smaller than the usual hip flasks, their size and shape allow them to be easily and discretely stow-able in a vest pocket, or lady's evening bag / purse. Perfect for a night out at the theatre or ballet. They were also used for 'spirits', tonic waters and flavored herbal remedies one could not be without, to help soothe migraines. A convenient accessory for allowing a lady or gentleman a suitable "restoratif" on a cold carriage journey or at a tedious social event.
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