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An absolutely divine work of art, this type of flask were favored with the ladies of the period, to tuck away into purses or pockets. They are rare to find in today's market. This example has all the hallmarks of Daum glass (though no signature is visible). It is of the purest French silver quality. It dates from the very earliest late 1800's to the very earliest 1900's and originates from the estate of "Madame R" in Paris.
This type of flask (with it's removable drinking cup) is known as "Eau de Melisse" after a type of absinthe spirits which was 80 proof. The Melissa water is an ancient elixir invented by a doctor in 1611. Composed of 14 herbs and 9 plants roots, it has many similarities with the absinthe drink that was taken as a medicinal tonic: said to cure stress, indigestion, fatigue thanks to the many properties of plants used.
The beautiful flacon is of the utmost in quality, beginning with a hand blown glass body. The texturized emerald green glass is accented with very detailed hand painted "pate de verre" flowers and leaves. The lilies are in gossamer shades of lavender and violet, accented with yellow. The leaves are of a clear spring green accented with white. This example has all the hallmarks of the art glass bottles that were the specialty of Daum.
The silver flask, mount and cap are hallmarked with the French standard Minerve 1st standard mark, depicting the goddess Minerva with a number 1 beside her (this indicates the silver content of .950/1000 (95% pure silver and a higher grade than .925 sterling). The top edge of the bottom tumbler has repousse work of delicate acanthus leaves. The mount at the shoulders repeats the repousse design of the bottom mount, with draping leaves cascading down the shoulder slope. The silver cap repeats the design again with repousse work appearing as draping acanthus leaves. There is a handblown glass "bouchon" stopper.
The flacon is in very good antique condition. The glass shows no visible cracks or chips. There is some slight wear to the enamel pate as is commiserate with age. The silver mounts are in good condition with very slight wear in accordance to age. The little glass bouchon has normal wear at the bottom where it was placed and removed many times from the opening. The measurements are: TOTAL 6 1/4" long: 4 1/8" circumference around the widest point of the glass bottle: BOTTLE: the glass bottle 4 3/4" tall. CUP:1 3/8" tall, 7/8" in diameter across the bottom.
These bottles are rarely found with all pieces intact. This is an exceptional example, a precious piece of history.
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Antique French Glass and Sterling Silver Flacon "a Eau de Melisse"
Fine French Small Antiques; Gilded Bronze, Objets of Vertu, Antique Books, Napoleon III, Porte Montre, Cast Bronze