An excellent quality antique sterling silver vinaigrette with a gilt finish. The cast cathedral top has a deep relief representation of York Minster. The reverse side has a crisp engine turned finish with a central cartouche (uninscribed). The interior is finely gilded and the grill is pierced and engraved with pluming scrolls, flowers and leaves. Weight 41 grams, 1.3 troy ounce. Height 1.2 cms. Length 4.5 cms. Width 3.2 cms. Birmingham 1842. Maker Joseph Willmore.
This attractive antique silver vinaigrette is in very good condition with no damage or restoration. The base and inside lid are marked with crisp, clear English silver hallmarks. Original gilt, the interior is bright, the exterior is very pale.
Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.
Vinaigrettes, popular from the late 18th century through the end of the 19th century, were small containers used for holding various aromatic substances, usually dissolved in vinegar. A tiny piece of sponge, soaked in the liquid, was contained beneath a grill or perforated cover. Ladies used to carry a vinaigrette with them to combat the aroma from the waste products common in cities. Likewise, the practice of wearing tight corsets also regularly caused woman to faint, requiring the need to carry smelling salts.