A fine antique Belle Epoque era French sterling silver mounted travel liquor flask. Of quality cut crystal, decorated with faceted 'thumbprints' along the shoulders, followed by a band with rows of diamond points, and tapering to wheel cut fluting . The sterling mounts have a gilt vermeil finish and comprise of a lid and threaded collar with a removable drinking cup attached to the base. Patterned with a running coin motif and a border of acanthus leaves adorn the lid. Retains a glass stopper. Measures 6" length. In overall good condition for its age with some general wear to the vermeil finish commensurate with use. There is an indentation to the top edge of the lid in the acanthus border as shown. No chips or cracks to the glass. Fully hallmarked with the French Minerva 1st standard mark, which depicts the head of the goddess Minerva with a number 1 beside her to denote a silver content of .950/1000 (almost 95% pure silver, and higher than the standard .925 sterling!) Also bearing maker's marks for Parisian silversmiths Lagriffoul & Laval, circa 1900, whose workshop was located at 157 rue du Temple, Paris.
Sometimes mistaken for a perfume bottle, bottles such as these were originally serviceable as portable flasks indented for liquor, 'spirits', absinthe or tonics and herbals. Though certainly usable for perfume if desired and are perfect to display among scent bottle collections. These flasks could easily hold a substantial amount of one's favorite liquor, to be served in the detachable tumbler or drinking cup at the base and ideal for a 'shot' of whiskey or flavored liqueur. These highly collectible 'spirit' flasks are known as carriage flasks, handy for short travel and easily stow-able in a purse or pocket during a night out at the theatre or opera. Also referred to as a flacon a eau de melisse, after a type of herbal 'spirits' similar to absinthe made from lemon balm favored for its fresh citrus taste and used as a tonic against migraines. A convenient accessory for 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