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A Private Collection of Scent Bottles: Country House Sale

4th August 2021.

A Private Collection of Scent-Bottles is coming up for sale in the Country House Sale on 17th & 18th September, with over 50 examples on offer dating from the 18th to the 20th centuries. The scent bottles have been amassed by a private collector from the South of England over may years, and whilst he has greatly enjoyed his collection, he feels it is now time to let others have the opportunity to own these wonderful objects. With a passion for small and decorative objects, the Collector has now turned his attention to other areas of collecting.

While there are many fascinating lots, both commercially and academically, the great strength of the collection is in its breadth, not only in age and origin but also in material. There are pieces ranging from last quarter of the 18th century and right up into the 20th century made using glass, silver, ceramic, enamel and even a silver-mounted otter’s paw.

Highlights of the Collection include a charming example decorated in the Iznik style, made by Zsolnay circa 1880 (estimate: £80-120). Zsolnay were one of the most renowned makers of porcelain and stoneware in Hungary and made scent-bottles in the late 19th century, some designed by Armin Klien. A rare and interesting item is Victorian combined scent-bottle, vinaigrette, pin-cushion and photograph frame. Made from green glass with gilt-metal mounts, its design was registered in January 1872 by Akerman, Worrall and Phillips of London (estimate: £400-600).

Featuring a portrait bust, probably Frederick, Duke of York wearing a military uniform adorns a George III or George IV Silver-Mounted Sulfide Scent-Bottle likely made by Apsley Pellatt and Co. of London circa 1820 (estimate: £250-350). Frederick, Duke of York and Albany was the second son of George III and having been sent into the army at an early age rose to high command by the age of 30. He later served as Commander-in-Chief during the Napoleonic Wars and was responsible for the reorganisation of the British Army.

Perhaps the most eye-catching scent-bottles in the collection is a Victorian Silver-Mounted and Gilt-Heightened Coloured Glass Scent Bottle, in the form of a fish. The scales and gills are delineated in fine gold lines on vivid orange glass, and a detachable silver tail is marked for Horton and Allday of Birmingham, 1884 (estimate: £300-500). Another pretty piece is a French Silver-Gilt and Enamel Scent-Bottle, made in the second half of the 19th century and stamped with the French Control Mark of Small Articles. Pear-shaped and with coloured enamel foliage, flowers and strapwork, it is offered with an estimate of £120-180.

Also sure to spark the interest of collectors of curious items is a Victorian Silver-Mounted otter Paw Scent-Bottle. Whilst the maker’s mark is too worn to read, it was made in London in 1892 and retailed by legendary taxidermist Rowland Ward and Co. of Piccadilly. It is being sold in a lot with three other scent-bottles with an estimate of £100-150.

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