Author Topic: Victorian Mercury Glass Perfume Bottle  (Read 1665 times)

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Connie

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Victorian Mercury Glass Perfume Bottle
« on: March 12, 2006, 10:50:55 AM »
Am I correct that this is Victorian era?  It is not really what I consider mercury glass because the metallic coating is not sandwiched bewtween 2 layers of glass.  It appears to be flashed on the inside??  What kind of flowers are these?  Some type of trumpet flower of the nightshade? family.  They are a nice thick enamel.  The top of the bottle has cut oval windows.

Perfume

Enamel

Cut Ovals


Offline Anne

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Victorian Mercury Glass Perfume Bottle
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2006, 01:21:53 PM »
Connie the flowers look a little like foxgloves... they could be nightshade though.


Connie

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Victorian Mercury Glass Perfume Bottle
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2006, 01:31:24 PM »
Anne - thank you.  They are foxgloves.  I knew  they were one of the  poisonous plants  :lol:

http://www.thebotanicnursery.com/foxgloves.htm


Offline Frank

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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2006, 02:21:35 PM »
Is there any marking on the metal?

Possibly letters B R or a logo with a winged head.
Frank A.
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Connie

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Victorian Mercury Glass Perfume Bottle
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2006, 03:12:03 PM »
Frank -

There are no marks at all.  I even looked again at the whole metal fitting with a loupe  :cry:

What is BR with a winged head mark?


Offline Frank

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Victorian Mercury Glass Perfume Bottle
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2006, 05:31:12 PM »
Rachmann Brothers, Haida. You scent is very typical of their work but I could not find an exact match in the one catalogue c.1900-1910. I have been hunting for an example for a couple of years and have to assume they did not mark anything, yours is the first that looks close. The were possibly only decorators and metal fabricators but there is little info available. One account described them as owning a glassworks and a metalworks and they went to Haida from Germany c1890. Unpleasant ending during WW2.

The cap is very close in shape and they did use a huge variety of flowers and cutting. However, not one piece mentioned silvering. It is a pity that the pump is missing as that might have fiven a better match.

Of course there would be several Czech decorating companies doing this type of thing at that time. I cannot see it being internally silvered as most perfumes would not react well to that! It must be double layer?
Frank A.
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Connie

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Victorian Mercury Glass Perfume Bottle
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2006, 10:28:12 PM »
Frank - You are probably right.  At first I think it was layered with the silvering sandwiched between 2 pieces of glass.  But there is damage to the silvering (which I know can happen to layered pieces also)  But when I peer into the top opening, I can see scratches in the bottom with light coming through.  It looks like someone tried to clean it with a wire brush :(

The bad news

More bad news

The bottom

The glass outside glass is satin.


Offline Frank

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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2006, 11:26:32 PM »
It is not that bad news, if it is internally coated perhaps it was done later and needs removing :twisted:

But don't rush into doing that please! I am fascinated by what it could be. Will have a browse in some old books on the subject.
Frank A.
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Connie

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Victorian Mercury Glass Perfume Bottle
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2006, 11:39:58 PM »
I am in no hurry, Frank.  I am going our of town again tomorrow and I have  7 shipments to pack tonight, finish washing clothes, and pack  :lol:

I am curious if you find out anything about this piece.


Offline Frank

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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2006, 09:02:19 AM »
Hadjamach, British Glass p 286-7 describes a electrodeposition method that would be appropriate. As it can take up to 6 hours just to coat it would seem an expensive method of decoration for a scent spray!

Duthie, 1908, offers other possibilities: Silver leaf - impossible here, Chemical deposition - possible, silver-solution paint - possible, interestingly he does not refere to electrodeposition for silver but he does for gold.

The chemical deposition is achieved with a solution of silver nitrate and this was used for mirrors, replacing mercury from about 1840, the process is carried out at a temperaure of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. It is followed by a backing process - which could solve the contact with fluid issue. Backing is first a coating of shellac and then a backing made from pigments, turpentine and size. It should be easy to determine if this was the process use, were it not for the small opening, as the backing should be obvious from the inside.

If you have a friendly surgeon with a laparoscope you will be able to see inside, or a chemist to analyse a small scraping from inside :shock:

I would expect that you could restore the missing coating by use of some modern silver solutions from art shops, try on a jam jar first. It would be superficial, relatively harmless and give an aesthetically pleasing result. It  will also remain obvious on close inspection as the silver colour will not match the original exactly.

Replacing the coating is the other option but that would probably cost moer than the piece is worth.
Frank A.
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