Antique Silver Vinaigrette

Date: 1842

Maker: Joseph Willmore

Country: England

Stock Number: 8381

An excellent quality antique sterling silver vinaigrette with a gilt finish. The cast cathedral top has a deep relief representation of York Minster. The reverse side has a crisp engine turned finish with a central cartouche (uninscribed). The interior is finely gilded and the grill is pierced and engraved with pluming scrolls, flowers and leaves. Weight 41 grams, 1.3 troy ounce. Height 1.2 cms. Length 4.5 cms. Width 3.2 cms. Birmingham 1842. Maker Joseph Willmore.

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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