Victorian Sterling Silver Repousse Vinaigrette Pendant
A vinaigrette is a small filigree container used to hold a perfume-soaked sponge or piece of cotton. Vinaigrette jewelry was worn by ladies during the Victorian era to mask unpleasant odors in their environments. The vinaigrettes were usually very beautifully detailed, and the scents inside generally consisted of alcohol or acetic acid mixed with a desired perfume or essential oils and herbs, such as peppermint, lavender, sage, cinnamon, or rosemary. When the sponge was soaked with only vinegar, it was intended to help prevent the wearer from fainting. Although they are no longer used in the modern day, Victorian-era vinaigrettes are still interesting historical pieces that make beautiful pieces of jewelry!
A wonderful vinaigrette pendant from the Victorian (ca1880) era! This lovely and decorative piece is made of sterling silver, and has a unique design that resembles a locket. A hand-crafted floral repousse design carries around the entire outside surface of the piece, complete with swirled textured detail. The pendant is hinged and opens to reveal a hollow compartment inside, which is contained behind a filigree door. When the door is lifted, a desired scent can be stored in the space behind it. The piece appears to have been gilded at one point, and the inside still retains a noticeable gold tone. At the top of the pendant is a simple bail, making it easy to hang and wear from a chain. Several hallmarks appear stamped along the inner rim of the pendant, including the letters "GU", a face in profile, a lion, an anchor, and another small maker's mark. This attractive and unique piece would make a very special addition to any Victorian collection!
Measurements: The pendant hangs 1 3/8" long, is 1" wide, and 1/2" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the pendant is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the silver setting or repousse design on the outside. The pendant opens easily and the filigree vinaigrette door lifts open easily and stays securely closed when shut.