This is an intact 17th-century silver scent bottle (pomander) in the form of a pilgrim flask. It is decorated with a figure of St. Nicholas on one side (wearing a bishop's mitre and giving blessing). The back is pierced with a floral design (to release the scent from a sponge or piece of cloth). It retains the original suspension ring on a chain (loop-in-loop) that appears original to the piece. Such pomanders were very popular with travellers and pilgrims, worn to mask the offending odours of travel. In the West, Saint Nicholas is most widely known as the patron saint of children. Many of his stories tell of children rescued from calamity and returned to the care and keeping of their families. The size of this pomander and depiction of Saint Nicholas giving a blessing would suggest that this flask was designed to be worn by a child during travelling. It is a lovely object, intact and with the original chain!
OBJECT: Scent bottle
CULTURE: Stuart, Baroque.
DATE: c. 1650 - 1700 AD
WEIGHT: 25.3 grams
SIZE: 56mm x 50mm x 18mm
PROVENANCE: Formerly in a UK private collection, Winchester.
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