Antique French Sterling Silver Gilt Vermeil Cut Crystal Flask, Original Box
A fine antique Belle Epoque era French sterling silver mounted travel liquor flask housed in the original presentation box. Of quality crystal decorated with deep wheel cut spiral fluting. The elegant sterling mounts consist of a knob lid with cork lined interior and threaded collar. Attached to the base is a removable sterling drinking cup with gilt vermeil finish to the interior. Measures 5 3/4" length. In overall good condition for its age with general wear from use. No chips or cracks, no dents to the silver mounts. Fully hallmarked with the French Minerva 1st standard mark, which depicts the head of the goddess Minerva with a number 1 beside her to denote a silver content of .950/1000 (almost 95% pure silver, and higher than the standard .925 sterling!) Also bearing maker's marks for Parisian silversmiths Lagriffoul & Laval, circa 1900, whose workshop was located at 157 rue du Temple, Paris. Housed in the original fitted presentation box retailed by Delorme Châteauroux. Box shows general wear from age and measuring 8" length x 3 1/8" width.
Sometimes mistaken for a perfume bottle, bottles such as these were originally serviceable as portable flasks indented for liquor, 'spirits', absinthe or tonics and herbals. 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 at the base and ideal for a 'shot' of whiskey or flavored liqueur. These highly collectible 'spirit' flasks are 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 a eau de melisse, after a type of herbal 'spirits' similar to absinthe made from lemon balm favored for its fresh citrus taste and used as a tonic against migraines. A convenient accessory for a suitable "restoratif" on a cold carriage journey or at a tedious social event.