This is a superb and rare Tudor silver casting bottle, dating to the 16th century A.D. It is decorated in the Mannerist taste, with humanoid-lion masks and interlaced strapwork design. The design was likely inspired by the work of the Antwerp goldsmith Balthasar Sylvius, whos designs were employed by the Tudor court, from his many printed works (see here).
This small bottle, designed to hold perfumed water (of roses or rosemary oil), the airtight stopper with hand cut thread was designed to prevent the contents leaking. Casting bottles were a luxurious accessory for the fashion-conscious courtier, often given as New Years gifts at the court of King Henry VIII and among the European aristocracy. It is a very rare and exceptional piece of early silver, the mercurial gold gilding luminous and in excellent condition.
OBJECT: Casting Bottle / Perfume Flask
CULTURE: Renaissance / Tudor
DATE: c. 1540 - 1580 A.D.
SIZE: 70.97mm x 46.49mm x 17.23mm (53.85mm open)
WEIGHT: 37.5 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Private Collection, of early scent bottles. Pittsburgh PA.
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