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The vial is hand blown with two sides of the bottle have gold gilding and red enamel dots. The other two sides white and blues beading dots, all of the decorations are fired on to make them more permanent. The length of this bottle is 6 ¾ inches long and ½ of an inch wide.
History on Tear Vials: The Tear Bottle has been used in America from the 1720’s until only shortly after the Civil War. They are found in several historical museums in the United States. It was a tradition used in both the North and the South. This was a custom that the highest level of social status participated in. Upon the death of a husband or child the wife (or Mother – if the child died) would, with her close women friends, hold a memorial service on the day of the death, but before the Sun set. The wife would be formally presented with a glass bottle by a friend or sister, and then during the memorial service she would weep into the bottle. At the end of the service they would seal the glass stopper with bee’s wax or paraffin. The woman would save the bottle to remember the loss of her husband or child. The tradition was taken from the Bible in Psalms the saving of tears. In the Old Testament of the Bible, the notion of collecting tears in a bottle appears in Psalm 56:8 when David prays to God, "thou tallest my wanderings, put thou my tears in thy bottle; are they not in Thy Book?" David's words remind us that God keeps a record of human pain and suffering and always remembers our sorrows.
In some American Civil War stories, women were said to have cried into tear bottles and saved them until their husbands returned. Their collected tears would show the men how much they were loved and missed.
The history of the tear bottle is both captivating and poignant. Legends of Tear Bottles abound in stores of Egypt and Middle Eastern societies. Tear bottles were prevalent in ancient Roman times, when mourners filled small glass vials with tears and placed them in burial tombs as symbols of love and respect. The tear bottles were a tear shaped vial found in the ancient Roman tombs, different shaped than the 18th and 19th Century bottles.
Some traditional accounts hold that the weeping or tear bottles would then be emptied over the grave on the first anniversary of the death.
Tear Vials are a rare and an interesting sentimental memorabilia.
The bottle is in excellent condition.