Super rare! This is from the era of ill-fated French King Louis XVI and his Queen, Marie-Antoinette, and is decorated in the layered oil paint and varnishes method which was her favorite, and created by the Brothers, Martin. Known simply as 'Vernis Martin", the beautiful decorative method remains popular today in these old treasures, and is on view in the decor at the Palace of Versailles. The object we present here is from this era, c.1750-80, and is a "flacon a' sel", (flask of salts) which would have been filled with ground salts and scented with strong perfumes. The vials like these and others were used when passing in public, to mask the unappealing odors of a city grown large and a population often of poverty. One would simply open the vial and a more pleasant odor would fill the air near one's nose, helping to mask or overcome the "odeurs du populations". The original flask it was made to hold still remains within, which is rather rare. This is a larger etui than those similarly made which were used for messages, and known as "billet-doux", but it is similarly made. A wonderful find, just in from a Paris estate. Perfume and cologne bottle collectors, heads up!
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. You can see how beautifully the painted with etherial Classical figures in performance of dance of life. You have winged putti, gowned ladies like those who gathered with Marie-Antoinette in her Petit Trianon on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles to revive Classical theatre as entertainments. The c.1700s wooden tube is home to the cut and engraved crystal perfume flacon or flask that still resides perfectly within. There are no chips on either, though you can see the hand painted surface decoration has small losses, typical of age. A couple of tight hairlines on the inner lip, visible on our photos. Silver bouchon, stopper, remains in place. Fabulous! The etui is 6.5" long and is 1 3/8" in diameter.
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