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HEAVEN SCENT: Remarkable Collection of Perfume Bottles to be auctioned

17th January 2020.

A remarkable and extensive collection of over one thousand perfume bottles of all shapes and sizes is being sold at Tennants Auctioneers in 2020. Collected over a lifetime by the late Jane Wilson of West Yorkshire, the first part of the collection will be sold in the Costume, Accessories and Textiles Sale on 8th February.

Comprising impressive large-scale advertising bottles (known as factices), early 20th century silver bottles, unusual bottles from around the world as well as iconic bottles from throughout the 20th century, the collection is sure to excite collectors. Highlights of the collection being sold on 8th February include a Chanel No.19 large advertising factice (estimate: £250-400 plus buyer’s premium), and ‘First’ by Van Cleef & Arpels large advertising factice (estimate: £80-120 plus buyer’s premium).

Jane Wilson was an avid collector of scent bottles and all things perfume, having started her collection as a young girl. Whilst travelling on business with her husband, Colin, Jane delighted in calling in at perfume shops throughout Europe, often persuading the owners to sell her the large factice display bottles. These she was also gifted when chemist shops were being refitted. Colin recalls carrying heavy bags of perfume bottles on their travels, and says “When Jane had three of something, it was the start of another collection!”.

Also up for sale are luxury designer accessories, from colourful silk Hermes scarves to iconic Chanel handbags and vintage Louis Vuitton luggage. Lots to look out for include a Chanel quilted black jersey handbag circa 1994-6 (estimate: £500-800 plus buyer’s premium) and a Mulberry Willow oxblood calf and ostrich leather tote bag (estimate: £300-400 plus buyer’s premium).

Amongst a good selection of vintage costume in the sale is an early 20th century eau-de-nil wool cape made by Liberty & Co., which was modelled by Fiona Bruce when it featured on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, filmed at Castle Howard (estimate: £300-500 plus buyer’s premium). There is an eclectic collection of ladies’ costume from the 1920s to 1950s including day and evening wear, accessories, shoes, hats, bags and shawls. In addition, there are several 19th century dresses dating from the 1840s, with examples made from both wool and luxurious silks from the 1860s and 1870s.

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