I am delighted to offer another beautiful Alvin perfume bottle—and a cranberry red one to boot! It has a few issues, two from manufacture (and one of those is quite curious) and one from use.

To understand the curiosity, you first have to know that the cranberry glass is flashed onto clear glass. When looking at flashed glass, there is no easy way to tell that the glass is any different from a piece made entirely of the outside color. Flashing is a permanent color addition done by layering a piece of melted glass of one color onto another piece of melted glass of a different color and then blowing the combined layers of glass. In some cases, parts of the outside flashed color are sand blasted or acid etched away, leaving a combined colored and clear design on the finished product. This is sometimes done intentionally on silver overlay items, but not often. In the usual case for items like this bottle, the complete flashing remains. It is a permanent, blown-on layer of glass, not something that is thinly painted on the clear glass you start with.

Now is the mystery issue. I am showing you two views of the bottom of the bottle—one seen from looking down into the bottle and one looking directly at the bottom; see my third composite image. It appears that the cranberry flashing did not color the entire bottom, but rather left a small disk of clear glass in the middle, with a swirl of cranberry plus a little dot of that color within the disk. Because flashing is permanent, it is obvious a previous owner did not “rub” it off. It had to have left the factory just the way you see it. In any case, when the bottle is standing upright (how else would you display it?), it looks entirely red. Actually, even the bottom looks red when you pick up the bottle to look at it, since the unflashed area is so small.

OK, that is one factory issue, and the other is so trivial, I am almost embarrassed to tell you about it. When I get a new silver overlay item, I scrutinize it carefully. I look at it closely, of course, but I also examine it tactilely, rubbing my palm around it to detect any sharp edges. Such sharpness could be an indication of a broken-off piece of silver that I missed visually, which I would then go back to check again where I felt the sharpness. When I examined this bottle, I detected one sharp area, and what I am showing you in my fourth composite image is what I felt with my hand. No silver is missing, but the teeny tiny tip of one leaf is lifted. You can’t really see anything when you look at that area, which is why I feel kind of silly trying to show it to you, but I always try to be complete when describing any of the items for sale in my shop.

The user-caused issue can also be seen in the same fourth composite. Clearly, the stopper was dropped, but the part that broke away was relatively small—and luckily, most of the stopper is intact; it fits into the neck with no wobble, and unless you have x-ray vision, you would never know that the stopper was incomplete. Because the stopper issue has no effect whatsoever on the wonderful display of the bottle, I have counted it only slightly in my evaluation of the bottle’s condition AND value.

Here is my rundown of the usual things people are concerned about when they buy a silver overlay perfume: The glass has some mineral deposits, although it is far from what I would call “cloudy.” Also, unless you look at the inside closely under direct lighting, you don’t see anything. That is because the glass is red, AND because the silver overlay is so densely applied. There just isn’t much opportunity to see anything amiss on the inside of the bottle. Other than a few scratches and other tiny manufacturing imperfections in and outside the glass, there is nothing to report. If you do have x-ray vision, ;-) you would have seen that there are no cracks in the neck, and for those of you that have normal vision, I am telling you, affirmatively, that there are no cracks in the neck—or anywhere else— in the bottle.

You already know about the tiny lifted leaf end, but I also want to tell you that the rest of the silver is fine. As I just noted, the application of the Art Nouveau floral design is dense around the bottle, and the silver is quite thick; it retains deep and beautiful chasing. Notice that the cartouche is blank, just waiting to have a monogram or other personalized engraving by the new owner—either for himself, or for the ultimate recipient if the bottle is meant as a gift.

I guess I know more about silver overlay than I do about horticulture. ;-) When I put this bottle in my shop, I said I did not recognize the flower, and I WRONGLY said it was not Alvin’s signature iris. I was admiring it and thinking I should keep it for myself (still a possibility), and I have now changed my opinion. I think the bloom is, indeed, an iris, but it is “drawn” with an interesting perspective, not simply laid out flat on the glass, and it is accompanied by more of the plant.

OK, back to the silver. I want to direct your attention again to my third composite image. You can see the deep and dark Alvin marks on the underside of the bottle. On that image, they are upside down, but I am showing them to you right side up as well. I don’t have to write them here, since they are clearly legible in my image.

Finally, I don’t want to forget to tell you the dimensions of the bottle. It is 6 3/8 inches high and 3 1/8 inches across the widest part of the bottom. It weighs 11 1/2 ounces.

I trust I have conveyed to you how spectacular this bottle is, but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to write.

*******!!!!!!!YOU MUST READ THIS!!!!!!!****** If you are buying more than one item from me, you can save on shipping. To complete your purchase, first indicate PayPal as your payment method, but PLEASE, PLEASE, DON’T GO THERE BEFORE I SEND YOU AN INVOICE
Cranberry Glass
Red, Silver
Art Nouveau
United States • American
Perfume Bottles, Bottles

Rosalie's Steiff & More

Spectacular Antique Large Alvin Silver Overlay Cranberry Red Glass Perfume Bottle

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