Antique French sterling silver and cut glass opera 'spirits' flask. Featuring a silver lid, collar and removable drinking cup attached at the base. The silver mounts are fluted and somewhat in a Modernist/Deco style , complimenting the fluted cut to the crystal body of the flask. Housed within an old presentation box, we believe to be original to the flask. The fitted interior with cream silk and velvet lining, dark green exterior. 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 silversmith Charles Barrier, active 1905 to 1923, who commenced trade at 7 rue Réaumur, Paris. Flask measures 4 5/8" length. Box measures 6" length x 3" width x 2 1/4" height. Retaining a glass stopper. In overall good condition for age and type. No chips or cracks to the glass body, a few small nibbles to the lower edge rim where the flask meets the removable sterling cup. The silver mounts in good condition, with no dings or dents. Some surface scratches / general wear commensurate with use and handling. Presentation box is in good condition with general wear.
Sometimes mistaken for a perfume bottle, 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 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.