Antique French sterling silver and cut glass opera 'spirits' flask. Featuring a silver lid, collar and removable drinking cup attached at the base. The glass is a gorgeous deep cranberry color terminating to a pinkish hue, further enhanced by deep wheel cut spiral fluting and exquisite engravings consisting of stylized scrolling foliage and rocailles. Simply gorgeous! 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 Bourgeois veuve & Prunin active from 1896 to 1913 at 17 rue du Pont-aux-Choux in Paris.
Flask measures 5 3/4" length. Retains a glass stopper. In overall very good condition for age and type with general wear and surface scratches from use and handling. The cut glass body is in overall good condition; no chips or cracks. There are couple of tiny flea-bites hidden among the intricate pattern and to the very edge rim of the mouth. Having a gorgeous cranberry color! The silver mounts are in overall good condition. A couple of marks/scratches on the drinking 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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