Antique French sterling silver mounted opera 'spirits' flask. Featuring a silver conical shaped lid, threaded collar and removable drinking cup attached at the base. The silver mounts patterned with exquisite rocailles. The lid having a cork interior. The glass flask colored a lovely pink terminating to clear embellished with hand painted enamel Lily of the Valley flowers. 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.
Flask measures 6 3/8" length. In good condition for age and type. The silver mounts in good condition, no dings or dents. Some wear to the painted decoration on the flask. Two small flea-bites to the lower edge rim of the glass, partially hidden by green enamel and located where the glass meets the removable silver cup. Some surface scratches / general wear commensurate with use and handling.
Sometimes mistaken as 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.