A significant number of the lots, mostly just two or three inches long, so as to fit snugly into a pocket, featured in Edouard Launert’s 1999 book Perfume and Pomanders: Scent and Scent Bottles through the Ages. Together, across the two sles sales on December 14 and January 25, more than 80 lots made from silver, glass, enamel, porcelain and rock crystal were sold for a total of £47,000.
A number of these pieces have cross-over collecting appeal to enthusiasts of English porcelain ‘toys’ and objects of vertu.
The top price in December was the £3400 paid for a 2¾in (7cm) long porcelain bottle c.1755 modelled as a cat pursuing two turtledoves up a tree with a seal of a prancing horse and angel to the base. In a shaped leather case, it was estimated at a modest £250-500.
Sold at £5500 (estimate £500-750) in January was a Bristol gilt-decorated opaque white perfume bottle c.1770 with a gold and enamel cap. It came in a fitted shagreen case with silver mount.
Pictured below is a further selection of highlights from the two sales at John Nicholson.