I am delighted to offer another beautiful Alvin perfume bottle—this one with their signature iris motif. It has two minor condition issues—one from manufacture and one from use.
Before I get into specifics, I apologize for the different arrow colors for the various things I am pointing out to you. I hope I have not confused you; my intention was the opposite—to help elucidate my verbal commentary! Most of the arrows are red, and those are pointing to examples of what I am certain is a manufacturing issue.
There are scattered areas on the bottle where the top level of overlay is gone, and what you see remaining is the “flux” of silver-attracting metals without the very top layer of sterling. It is unlikely (impossible?) that some former owner polished the silver SOOOO hard that she removed it, leaving just the flux. This definitely seems to be a manufacturing flaw.
Happily, except for a small amount of surface silver loss that is visible when you display the bottle with the cartouche facing front, the rest of the exposed flux is on the underside of the bottle. I show that to you in various images, again pointing with red arrows. A tiny part of the missing silver was more substantial than merely revealing the flux. There is a palpable break in the tip of one swirl of overlay as it intersects with its neighbor. It is about two millimeters across. I am indicating this with the blue arrow in the closeup portion of the exposed flux in my seventh image.
There is more exposed flux on the stopper, which like most of the missing areas on the bottle, is mostly out of sight; see my sixth composite image.
My sixth image also shows you, with pink arrows, the Alvin maker’s marks and design number, 3106, engraved into the silver—enlarged by themselves and in situ on the bottle. Two other pink arrows show the matching numbers etched into the glass at the end of the stopper and on the bottom of the bottle. That number, 739, is just barely legible on the bottle, due both to my lighting and to the mineral deposit that coats the bottom center of the bottle. And mineral deposits are the second minor condition issue, which is not from the manufacture but from use.
The bottom of the bottle has the largest area of deposits, and, of course, this is not important for aesthetic display. The rest of the bottle has small specks of deposit here and there, but the glass is basically clear, as my multiple images demonstrate.
Having dispensed with this bottle’s relatively minor issues, let me mention its nice features. I mentioned the irises as an Alvin signature design. Among the Art Nouveau curlicues, there are three large irises, one on either side of the bottle and one on the stopper. The chasing on them, as well as the rest of the silver, is sharp and detailed. On the other hand, the cartouche was left blank, so you are free to engrave it with some kind of (small ;-)) personalization—either for you, if you intend to keep the bottle for your own collection, or for the recipient if this bottle is meant as a gift.
Another positive feature of the bottle—actually two—are its size and heft. It is not HUGE as perfume bottles go, but it is a generous size. With stopper inserted, the bottle is 4 1/2 inches high, and the diameter of the bottom is 4 inches. I admit that my hands are small, but holding it in my hand pretty much buries my palm. While referring to my hand for size is obviously relative, the weight numbers on the scale are not. Although I got two slightly differing weights on the two scales I used for comparison, in BOTH cases, the reading was more than a pound!
Of course, I also want you to know that there is no damage to the glass, and, although the inside of the collar is an unusual orange-y color (I believe due to the way light refracts in that very thick glass), there are no cracks in the neck (or anywhere else on the bottle for that matter)!
The only other thing I can think to tell you is that the overlay on this bottle is more than mere ;-) sterling. Some parts of the markings may have worn away, but to the right of the clearly legible design number is the partly legible silver content fraction, 999/1000, followed by the words “FINE SILVER.” Sterling, on the other hand, is “only” 925 parts silver out of 1000.
I believe I have covered all the details of this bottle, but please write if you have a question. This bottle would fit well with any advanced silver overlay collection, whether it is yours or that of the lucky person who receives it as a gift.
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