Antique French Sterling Silver Spiral Fluted Cut Glass Flask
Antique French sterling silver and cut glass opera 'spirits' flask. Featuring a silver lid, collar and removable drinking cup attached at the base. A bit of leather or cork lining the interior of the lid. The silver mounts patterned with Louis XV/Rococo style rocailles and spiral fluting. The motif adorning the silver mounts plays compliment to the cut glass body decorated in exquisite wheel cut spiral fluting. 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). Maker's mark appears to be that of Parisian silversmiths Bourgeois veuve & Prunin active from 1896 to 1913 at 17 rue du Pont-aux-Choux in Paris.
Flask measures 5 5/8" length. Retains a glass stopper. In overall good condition for age and type with general wear and some surface scratches from use and handling. The cut glass body is in overall good condition; no chips or cracks; a few small flea-bites to the high points of the spiral fluted cut pattern. The silver mounts are in overall good condition with no damage, dings or dents, just general wear/surface scratches commensurate with age and handling. The silver mounts have a nice thickness and are not thin or flimsy. Overall a beautiful flask.
Sometimes mistaken for a perfume bottle, these flasks could easily hold a substantial amount of one's favorite liquor serviceable the detachable tumbler or drinking cup at the base and ideal for a 'shot' of whiskey or flavored liqueur. These highly collectible 'spirit' flasks are also known as carriage flasks, handy for short travel and easily stow-able in a purse or pocket during a night out at the theatre or opera. Also referred to as a flacon à eau de mélisse after a type of absinthe 'spirits' made from lemon balm favored for its fresh citrus taste and as a tonic against migraines. A convenient accessory for allowing a lady a suitable "restoratif" on a cold carriage journey or at a tedious social event.