This is a French art glass scent perfume bottle (or cologne) that is a chatelaine, with a chain that hangs on another chain around the neck or from a purse or belt, purchased by a young lady during the Grand Tour. The glass is cobalt over white opaline, simply extraordinary, and though the photos don’t show it, if you hold the glass up to just the right light you can see through it to the interior of the bottle. Do not confuse this bottle with being porcelain that is glazed cobalt over white porcelain; this bottle is emphatically glass. Look at the last photo where I shine light at the perfume bottle from the side and photograph the interior. The white is all smooth and looks like exceptional high quality white opaline glass. If it was porcelain, the inside would be bisque (not glazed) and not smooth at all. The date is circa 1860.
Please excuse the light glares in the photos.
On the front, the cobalt is cut away to the white opaline, making a reserve, against which is a hand painted scene of a young courting couple. There is a background of water and foliage. Around the reserve in raised relief is a scroll border of either silver metal or silver enamel. The overlay goes around to the back of the bottle and there are tiny roses.
Not to belabor the point, but with this reserve of the painting against the white glass, once again this is where you can tell the bottle is glass and not a cobalt glaze over white porcelain. With porcelain, the cobalt glaze will bleed into the white glaze, sort of like flow-blue, and the decorators hide this bleed with lines of gold gilding. On the bottle, you can see clearly that the cobalt is cut down to the white, that there is no bleed, but rather a cut in the glass to the white opaline glass underneath.
There is a little bit of paint missing at the edge, to the right of the male, showing the white glass underneath.
The metal is either bronze or brass, I think bronze. There is a chain that fastens to another chain that is a circle. The metal has age patina as you can see clearly in the photos.
The lid snaps firmly in place. The clear crystal stopper is still intact and original to the bottle, which again shows that the bottle is glass, not porcelain.
The bottle is 3 ½” long.
Towards the tip of the bottle the cobalt glass is thinner and some of the white opaline shows through.
Under the lid there is some type of material to protect the head of the stopper. Inside the neck is white material that is normal for these old bottles to make sure the tiny crystal stopper fits snugly.
There are no chips, nicks or cracks.
French Chatelaine Scent Perfume Bottle Cobalt Over White Opaline Art Glass w Hand Painted Figural Reserve Overlay c 1860
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