I just love it when we find something this old (approx. 245 years) in such wonderful condition. It's been years since Rich has bought one as they seem to usually be a total mess or heavily repaired. The lid of the bonbonniere (top half) holds the perfume & that swan finial top is the stopper. The lid just swings open-there is no catch & never was one. The rims were hand made to be held together by friction. The exterior is a beautiful, vivid cobalt blue & white porcelain enamel. The front & back have each been adorned with a hand painted scene & flower grouping. Even the sides have hand painted enamel work. The scenes & flowers are all there with out chips. The front's scene has some vertical craze lines in the tree area. The hand painted gold trim has dulled in color over the years and has all over firing flaw pits, crazing & a hint of loss. The white enamel decorations have some spots of firing flaws & loss. Discounting the firing flaws (example in photo #9-bottom), I would have to guess the enamel trim/decoration is 98% there. There are areas of cracks & crazing on the bottom of the perfume's front, back & one side just above the gold plated metal rim. The bottom of photo # 8 shows the side rim-the worst area. It is unknown if this is original to manufacture or damage. These areas could have been fine hair line cracks & crazing from crimping/inserting the perfume half into the metal rim & just deepened/widened over the centuries. The four rims, swan stopper & swan's security chain are gold plated probable brass. The metal has no rips, breaks, cracks or missing pieces. The plate on the base & two middle rims is still quite bright. The top rim, swan & chain have dulling due to perfume & oil from hands. The chain is original & un-repaired-I see no odd color or solder blobs. I am a little stymied by the front bottom rim of the perfume. It has two gold colored small blobs (see black ^ marks top of photo #7) that appear to be quite old. They look to be equal distance in from the sides of the bonbonniere. My off the wall guess is that they secure in a form of brad to help keep the rim attached due to pressure from lifting lid. The hinge is all original & in smooth working order. The white porcelain enamel interior has a mix of some cracks & original to manufacture swirling indentation lines. On both the exterior & interior next to the metal rims you can see evidence of old glue. On the interior it shows as that somewhat yellow discoloration. Edmund Launert's book "Scent and Scent Bottles" shows a near identical bottle in yellow and describes it as " Enamel combined scent bottle and bonbonniere (or smelling box), painted with floral motifs and country scene. English, (South Staffordshire), c.1765. 103 mm high." Ours measures 3 7/8" tall to top of swan x 2 1/8" widest point x 1 7/8" deepest point. A wonderful 18th. century love token in remarkable un-repaired condition.
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