Antique French sterling silver and glass opera 'spirits' flask. Featuring a silver conical lid, collar and removable drinking cup attached at the base. The silver mounts patterned with Louis XV/Rococo style rocailles. The glass body is tapered and features elaborate engravings of scrolling foliage, lattice, rocailles and flowers. 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 silversmith Simon Slisonski, active 1888-1903, who commenced trade at 176 rue Saint-Martin, Paris.
Flask measures 6 1/8" length. In overall good condition for age and type. Some scratches / general wear commensurate with use and handling. No chips or cracks to the glass body. The silver mounts in overall good condition, a dimple or two to the removable cup.
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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Quality Antiques, Sterling Silver, Porcelain & Decorative Arts