Stories in a bottle

On 18 March 2020, by Ivane Payen

Perfume bottles recount a wealth of many-hued stories. Here are a few of them.

René Lalique, "Amphitrite", 1920s, moulded pressed glass bottle, h. 10,5 cm. Drouot, 20 June 2016. Coutau-Bégarie.
Result: €9,374

Previously, perfume was made using animal substances (particularly ambergris and musk) or plants (like rose and jasmine). In the 19th century, the creative possibilities of perfumers exploded at a dizzying rate, because the extraction of natural products using volatile solvents and chemistry led to the creation of new olfactory "stories". Bottles became narrators, giving these liquids a tangible as well as a visual image. But an almost magical history also comes to mind when we think of names like René Lalique (a jewellery designer before he began to give dreamlike shapes to glass), Jean Patou, with his legendary perfume Joy, Hermès, Nina Ricci and a host of others.
 

Perfume bottle in the shape of a double gourd, hinge in 800 silver ‰, around 1880, h.7 cm, poids brut 118,8 g. Paris, 4 April 2018. Eve .R

Perfume bottle in the shape of a double gourd, hinge in 800 silver ‰, around 1880, h.7 cm, poids brut 118,8 g. Paris, 4 April 2018. Eve .
Result: €3,780

Émile Gallé (1846-1904), lined glass spray perfume bottle with acid-etched decoration, h. 17cm. Versailles, 24 June 2018. Éric Pillon Ench

Émile Gallé (1846-1904), lined glass spray perfume bottle with acid-etched decoration, h. 17cm. Versailles, 24 June 2018. Éric Pillon Enchères.
Result: €438


Coty, 1920s, perfume bottle made of colourless pressed moulded glass, with midnight blue enamelling, gold decoration and a glass screw cap

Coty, 1920s, perfume bottle made of colourless pressed moulded glass, with midnight blue enamelling, gold decoration and a glass screw cap with internal disc stopper h. 7 cm. Drouot, 11 June 2018. Coutau-Bégarie.
Result: €766

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