Antique French Sterling Silver & Green Cut Glass Flask
Antique French sterling silver and cut glass liquor flask. The tapered glass bottle is a gorgeous green color decorated with wheel cut spiral fluting and engraved scrolling foliage. Mounted with a sterling silver lid, collar and removable tumbler or drinking cup attached to the base. Retains a glass stopper. 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 Bourgeois veuve & Prunin active from 1896 to 1913 at 17 rue du Pont-aux-Choux in Paris. Flask measures 5 7/8" length. In overall good antique condition with general wear commensurate from use and handling, some surface marks to the silver mounts.
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.