E574 Sterling French Vinaigrette Enameled Egg, Edwardian:


Handmade and hand-enameled the “Egg” held perfume or other pleasant fragrances. Personal hygiene was not always so meticulous. Before the introduction of soaps, and their easy accessibility, people, needed a reliable means to mask the various smells and odors wafting through their environment. The vinaigrette served that purpose admirably. Designed as a small container with a sponge that could be saturated with sweet-smelling perfumes and oils, it was held under the nose to mask less than fragrant surroundings.
Many aromatic herbs such as sage, cinnamon, lavender, mint, and rosemary, mixed with alcohol and acetic acid to create a pleasant perfume were employed in this endeavor. Not only did these essences protect from foul odors but, it was believed at the time that they could protect one from cholera as well. When the sponge was soaked only in vinegar, as per its original use, it could help prevent the wearer from fainting.
Used by both men and women, vinaigrettes were suspended from chatelaines, placed in pockets, hung from chains, bracelets or finger rings. Often designed in the shape of a rectangular box, the more spectacular vinaigrettes took on the look of a vase of flowers, a purse, an urn or a small quail egg. This egg is on a sterling neck chain; the size of the egg is 1 long and ½wide. Finding these little treasures in today antique market is tough.

Price: $325.00