Exception antique Georgian English (Birmingham) sterling silver rectangular vinaigrette by, Ledsam, Vale & Wheeler dated 1827. The cover is ornamented with a hand engraved checkerboard pattern with empty rectangular cartouche, the underside features a engraved floral pattern in relief. Inside the hinged, pierced decorated silver gilt grille has a ornate floral and foliate motif. Contains original sponge.
The vinaigrette was designed to mask unpleasant odours by soaking the small sponge in sweet smelling perfumes and oils, and then was held under the nose. It was also used to prevent fainting by soaking the sponge in vinegar. These small boxes were used by both men and women and would have been either suspended from chatelaines, held in pockets, hung from chains, bracelets or rings.
Metal: Sterling silver, gilded
Dimensions: 5/8 inch (L) x 7/8 inch (W) x 3/8 inch (D)