Sometimes I see something that just draws me in. This small Georgian tulip vinaigrette is one of them. Often antique jewelry is beautiful as well as utilitarian. This tulip vinaigrette fits into that category. It dates to the early 19th century and was considered, back then, a necessity.
In those days, the streets were...well...no nice way to say this...the streets were cesspools. There is no way to get around that fact. Mud and muck, waste, all just dumped into the streets. Not to mention that people did not bathe on a regular basis. So the smells were deplorable. That is why the vinaigrette was considered a must have!
Vinaigrettes were worn to "override" the terrible smells of the day. It would have been worn on a ribbon, chain or chatelaine. The vinaigrette worked by placing a perfume soaked piece of sponge or fabric into the little hidden compartment. Some vinaigrettes had a grille that you could place the fabric beneath. When opened you could take a whiff of the beautiful smell of perfume. Vinaigrettes were also used for holding smelling salts.
Other vinagrettes had small holes in them that allowed the scent to naturally flow through at all times. I cannot say for sure, but I believe that this is one such vinaigrette.
There are some small holes in this piece. It looks as though someone tried to fill them with glue. Such a shame.
Here is another view of the tulip. I can only imagine how beautiful this was when it was new. Now, the enamel is quite worn and missing in places. The gold gilt is also very worn. The bale is loose and has been glued.
It would be wonderful if I could have this restored! Maybe someday. For now, I am content just to own this beauty. Yes, I said beauty. To me it is beautiful just the way it is. Can you imagine the stories this piece could tell! The history! Maybe someone like Jane Austen wore this. Who knows. Well a girl can dream.
Visit my shop, Wicked Darling, for more antique and vintage jewelry.
Thanks for stopping by!