Vinaigrettes were used in the 18th and 19th century as a way for a men and women to put a scented cloth, vinegar or smelling salts to hold close to the nose to maintain a pleasant smell instead of the more overpowering smells of the romantic but not always sterile and hygienic Georgian and Victorian era.
And here we have a very elegant and feminine antique vinaigrette that was made in Austria around 1870 by Simon Grenewald.
It is not just the shape which is lovely it is also the magnificent enamel scene that surrounds this vinaigrette of a man and a woman sitting amongst the forest. The top hinge shows the man playing a flute and it is nice to think that this is of a scene of a young man courting a young lady.
The vinaigrette measures 19mm wide at its most bulbous part by 29mm and would hang delightfully on a chain around the neck today.
Complete with its original pierce worked lid, this is such a wonderful piece of history and a wonderful talking point with a charming scene of young love.