An incredibly beautiful and rare 19th century French enamel & 18k gold vinaigrette.
A vinaigrette was used as miniature container with a small sponge that was saturated with perfumes or oils. Often worn over gloves, bracelets or from chatelaines and chains, it was carried to mask the odor of surroundings. When the sponge was soaked only in vinegar, it could also help prevent the wearer from fainting. This vinaigrette is gorgeously double sided, and each side has a differently decorated floral center frame. The vivid colors of red, white, yellow, orange, blue and green make the piece pop up, and the small rubies and table cut emeralds adorn the vinaigrette on both sides equally. When one center frame opens, it reveals the interior grill, and you can see the exquisite pierced work in which motif continues with flowers and leaves. The lid closes firmly. This piece has a French eagle's head hallmark (750 Paris 1838-1847) on the top loop. This hallmark is seen on French made pieces of gold since 1838, and represents items that have been tested to be constructed of a minimum 18k gold. The large split ring also tests 18k gold. Overall this piece is in excellent condition.
Total Drop (N-S): Approximately 2.17" (55mm)
Width (heart): Approximately 1.38" (35mm) at the widest