7923
Antique Silver and Tortoiseshell Vinaigrette

Date: 1861

Maker: Sampson Mordan & Co

Country: England

Stock Number: 7923

£550
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An excellent quality Victorian sterling silver and gilt vinaigrette with hinged lid and decorative inner pierced grill. Lovely crisp condition. The inset tortoiseshell top has intricate silver pique work with ribbons, swags and musical instruments. Weight 23 grams, under 1 troy ounce. Height 1.5 cms. Top measures 2.5 x 2 cms. London 1861. Maker Sampson Mordan, one of the most important makers of the period.

Literature: Vinaigrettes, popular from the late 18th century through the end of the 19th century, were small containers used for holding various aromatic substances, usually dissolved in vinegar. A tiny piece of sponge, soaked in the liquid, was contained beneath a grill or perforated cover. Ladies used to carry a vinaigrette with them to combat the aroma from the waste products common in cities. Likewise, the practice of wearing tight corsets also regularly caused woman to faint, requiring the need to carry smelling salts.

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