RARE TIFFANY & CO. Amphora Shaped Vinaigrette-Liquor/Spirits Flask made in 1872, before Tiffany & Co.'s move from Union Square in 1895 to 5th Avenue, New York City, NY. The 'M' mark (see photo) was used during the tenure of Edward Moore, Chief Silver Designer and Head of his Department at Tiffany's.
Flask would have been held in the palm of the hand, secured by a finger slipped through the ring making it readily accessible to clear the air with a quick sniff and a shot of brandy or Absinthe, known in historical literature as "la fée verte" (the green fairy). Many were addicted to Absinthe in the 1800s. It was potent and one did not need much for the necessary effect. It is for that reason and because of the design that I believe this Flask was meant for the dapper male as well as for the elegant lady.
Flask top unscrews revealing its original cork - indicative of a liquor flask as opposed to a perfume flask that would have a glass stopper for dabbing on perfume. Lower Body of Vinaigrette unscrews revealing Tiffany & Co. markings on one side. Lower half reveals a hinged disk covering the hollow bottom of the vessel designed for either smelling salts or a perfume or vinegar drenched piece of cloth used to refresh the air of stench.
Vinaigrette hangs 5-3/4" from finger ring while the actual body of the piece is 4" long by 1-1/4" wide. Flask is heavily gold washed inside to prevent contents from turning rancid from silver tarnish. There are two very slight dimples (see first photo) which are most likely original to the design - hard to tell but should be mentioned.
This Vinaigrette is featured on page 147 of "Bejeweled' by Tiffany & Co. I have seen another version of this Vinaigrette listed at $12K and heard of another priced at $20K.
Very good Antique condition.