17th century Antique Silver Scent Flask


Stock: 10335

Date: Circa 1690

Country: England

A rare early English silver scent bottle with a screw top and attached chain with finger ring. The perfume flask...

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A rare early English silver scent bottle with a screw top and attached chain with finger ring. The perfume flask is in the form of a miniature medieval pilgrim flask and is hand engraved with foliate decoration. The posy ring is inscribed inside “A” and “My night is all my delight” together with a little mouse figure.

Weight 29 grams, just under 1 troy oz.
Height 5.9cm. Width 3.1cm. Base measures 1 .8 x 1.3cm.
Probably London circa 1690.
Maker’s mark of E.H.

A very charming little collector’s piece.

Marks. Stamped to the front and reverse with maker’s mark “E.H” (unattributed). The silver has no other marks which is normal for small silver articles of this period.

Literature: The pilgrim flasks was designed to hold holy oil brought back from the Holy Land in early medieval times. It usually has a flat body, circular or pear shaped, with a short neck, spreading foot, and often a chain. It could be suspended around the neck or was sometimes hung on the bedpost for protection from demons at night.

The posy ring, popular from the 15th to the 17th century both in England and France, contained secret messages of love between the giver and the recipient. The name ‘posy’ comes from the French word ‘poésie’, for ‘poem’.


The perfume flask is in very good condition, good gauge silver, the screw top works well, with minor wear consistent with age. Very slight bruising and wear commensurate with age, the maker’s marks are slightly rubbed around the edge. The chains are good, the ring has a solder line.

Maker Information

No maker assigned

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