This item from Métier Paris is now SOLD.
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Sumptuous Marcus & Co. Gem Set Crystal Perfume Bottle, c. 1890s
A stunning cut lead crystal perfume flacon with 14k gold cap set with eighteen old mine cut diamonds and centered with a large, vibrant peridot. The body is carved with a floral motif of daisies and Sweet William. The gold mount is decorated with a bead and papyrus motif and engraved with the initials J.V. McM. The reverse is hallmarked ‘M & Co.’ and ‘14k’, and has a ring for hanging from a chatelaine.
A competitor of Tiffany & Co, Marcus & Co was less known but equally prestigious. Founded by William Marcus in partnership with Georges B. Jacques, the firm was known for many years as Jacques & Co. Upon the retirement of Jacques in 1892 the firm name was changed to Marcus & Co. William was joined by his brother, George, and they were later joined by their father Herman, whose illustrious career had included working in Dresden for the Green Vaults and then many years with Tiffany & Co.
Marcus & Co loved green! Many of their pieces are recognizable by their use of green stones set in Art Nouveau motifs. They were especially well known for breakthrough designs in Art Nouveau styles, as well as more classic motifs, employing opals, peridot, emeralds, and Tsavorite and Demantoid garnets as well as plique a jour enamel. This piece would have been one of the earlier designs created in the 1890s just after the firm became Marcus &Co.
We were told this piece belonged to an American heiress who married a Belgian aristocrat in the late 19th century. It has been in the family until now. Unfortunately, we don’t have any further details, as the name of the seller, the granddaughter of the original owner, was kept confidential to respect her privacy. Incidentally, while we sympathize with this decision, it is also sad as the provenance is now lost.
In excellent condition, we only note that the bottle is missing its stopper.
3 ½” long and approx. 1” wide; the peridot is estimated to be approximately 1.92 carats.
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