Antique French Sterling Silver Liquor Spirits Opera Flask
An outstanding antique Belle Epoque era French cut glass and sterling silver liquor flask. Featuring a tapered hand blown glass body, in a lovely cranberry pink/red color decorated with wheel cut fluting. Retains a glass stopper. Mounted with sterling silver fittings, including a conical shaped lid, collar and detachable tumbler/drinking cup at the base all hallmarked with the French Minerve 1st standard mark used from 1838 to 1919, which depicts the goddess Minerva with a number 1 beside her designating a silver content of .950/1000 (95% pure silver and higher than the standard .925 for sterling silver). Maker's marks for silversmith Joseph CROSSARD, active from 1900-1920, whose firm was located at 36 rue de Montmorency in Paris. Flask measures 4 1/2" length. In very good condition. The silver mounts in good condition, one or two shallow dimples but nothing that detracts from this charming piece. No chips or cracks to the glass bottle.
Highly prized by perfume bottle collectors and often mistaken for a lay down scent or perfume bottle, these charming bottles were meant originally as flasks for serving liquor, herbal restoratives or absinthe. They could easily hold a substantial amount of one's favorite liquor, to be served in the detachable tumbler / drinking cup that sheathes the base. Ideal for a 'shot' of whiskey or flavored liqueur. These highly collectible flasks are sometimes known as carriage flasks, handy for short travel. And also referred to as Opera Flasks. Smaller than the usual hip flasks, their size and shape allow them to be easily and discretely stow-able in a vest pocket, or lady's evening purse bag. 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. A convenient accessory for allowing a lady or gentleman a suitable "restoratif" on a cold carriage journey or at a tedious social event.