Found recently in Paris, this petit Napoleon III era (c.1850-70) flask is a spectacular example of 19th century French kiln-fired enamel. Overall decoration on cobalt blue enamel is floral and a charming little child on the face of the lay down scent. Silver mounted, it's heavy in the hand. Thick and bulbous, the hinged top is a round ball. The process, working with muddy porcelain 'slip' and then kiln-firing so that the finished decorative surface emerges upon melting. A very arduous and difficult process here, the emulsions are painted on copper plaques or panels, in this case, would have gone through numerous kiln-firings to achieve the finished product. Sometimes foil-backed or jeweled raised dots of thick enamel add a jewel-like feature. While I think this is a silver mount, I haven't found a tiny punch mark which would identify the grade, so it might be less than .800 purity silver. It's 2 5/8" long, a purse flask. Measurements noted on photos.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, the only flaw I can find is the stuck stopper, clear glass, the top of which has been broken off (likely by someone trying to force turn it). Stuck stoppers need to be eased out with oil and time. A glass restoration expert charges about $30 to remove and make a replacement stopper, but the one we've used in the past has retired. There isn't a single flaw at all on any of the magnificent kiln-fired enamel. Hinge and clasp of cap work perfectly, too. Very special!