Bristol perfume bottles leads sale
The leading lot in the recent sale was a Bristol opaque white perfume bottle, which achieved over ten times its lower estimate, selling for £5,500. Just 4cm (1½in) high, it was made in c.1770, had fine gilding, a cap with gold and enamel, and came in a fitted shagreen case with silver mount. The estimate for the bottle was £500-750.
Derby perfume bottle leads first sale
The successful sale followed the first instalment in December, and together the two offerings have yielded more than £47,000 from the 80 or so lots sold.
The top lot in the earlier sale was the £3,400 paid for a 7cm (2¾in) long derby porcelain perfume bottle and stopper, decorated with a striped cat pursuing two turtledoves up a tree, the base with a seal of a prancing horse and angel. In a shaped leather case, it came undated but is similar to other bottles from Derby dating to the mid-18th century. The bottle’s estimate was £250-500.
Other highlights from the two sales included an 18th-century gold perfume bottle with stopper, chain and ring. Decorated with scrolls, shells and lyre, the base inset with a green hardstone, the ring with a turquoise, the bottle fetched £2800 against an estimate of £250-500.
Elsewhere, A Louis XVI period gold and enamel oval perfume bottle trebled its estimate to make £1,700, while an 18th-century Chelsea porcelain perfume bottle was hammered at £1,600.
Other top sellers were:
- A 4½in (11.5cm) long, 18th-century South Staffordshire pear-shaped enamel perfume bottle, with topper and chain was also pitched at £250-500, but made £1500.
- An 18th-century Indian gold filigree 22ct cased clear glass scent bottle. At 2¾in (7cm) long the estimate was £250-500, the hammer £1500.
- Another example guided at £250-500 was a 3in (7.5cm) long, 18th-century rock crystal and gold scent bottle and stopper with chain that sold for £1200.
- A c.1850 three-colour glass perfume bottle on a gold chain with enamel fastener. Estimate £250-500, hammer £1200.
- Thomas Webb & Sons, the 19th-century makers, are celebrated for their swan head Cameo perfume bottles, with examples in museums such as The Met. Here a conical cameo glass perfume bottle by Webb with a silver band and top, made in Birmingham in 1885, is decorated with a narcissus on yellow ground. At 4¾in (12cm) long, it was expected to fetch £250-500, but in the end made £850.
A significant number of the lots from both instalments feature in Edouard Launert’s 1999 book Perfume and Pomanders: Scent and Scent Bottles through the Ages.