Antique French Sterling Silver Liquor Flask, Enamel Glass, Traveling / Opera 'Spirits' Bottle
Antique French sterling silver mounted liquor flask. The tapered glass body done in a lovely purple color terminating to clear, with an over satin finish. Hand painted with enamel flowers. Mounted with elegant sterling silver knob lid, threaded collar and detachable tumbler covering the base. The lid with cork lined interior, and the tumbler having a gilt vermeil finish to the interior. Hallmarked with the French Minerve 1st standard mark used from 1838 to 1919, which depicts the goddess Minerva with a number 1 beside her to denote a silver content of 950/1000 (of 95% pure silver and a higher finesse than .925 sterling). Bearing maker's marks for Parisian silversmiths Lagriffoul & Laval, active from 1899, who commenced trade at 157 rue du Temple, Paris. Measures 6" length. In good antique condition with some general wear commensurate with use and age.
Sometimes mistaken for a perfume bottle, these bottles were originally serviceable as portable flasks intended for liquor or herbal restoratives (Though certainly usable for perfume if desired and are perfect to display among scent bottle collections.) These flasks could easily hold a substantial amount of one's favorite liquor, to be served in the detachable tumbler or drinking cup ideal for a shot of whiskey or flavored liqueur. These collectible flasks are known as opera flasks and carriage flasks. Smaller than the usual hip flasks, their size and shape allow them to be hand for short travel and discretely stow-able in a vest pocket, or lady's evening bag / purse. Perfect for a night out at the theatre, opera or ballet. They were also used for 'spirits', tonic waters and flavored herbal remedies one could not be without, to help soothe migraines and aches. A convenient accessory for allowing a lady or gentleman a suitable "restoratif" on a cold carriage journey or at a tedious social event.