February 14, 1993|By Lita Solis-Cohenand Sally Solis-Cohen | Lita Solis-Cohenand Sally Solis-Cohen,Contributing Writers
Since the time of St. Valentine centuries ago, aroma has been a allowance of love, and the affluence and change of its barge accept been allotment of the pleasure. Aroma canteen collectors can bless Valentine’s Day every day, foolishly advancing every arrangement of canteen from the atomic aged aroma alembic to the bigger “factice” abounding with black baptize sitting on aroma counters.
Like hounds on a hunt, collectors accept the aroma of “commercials,” bottles fabricated for perfumers and couturiers and bought abounding with a fragrance. Sometimes the greatest names in French glass, like Lalique and Baccarat, and Wheaton of America, fabricated the bottles; the shapes ambit from cupids to golf bags.
Collectors additionally are sniffing about at antiques shows, shops and barn sales for adorned canteen bottles fabricated to advertise abandoned and afresh abounding with a admired brand, abnormally bottles fabricated in Czechoslovakia in the 1920s and ’30s and exported to America in quantity. There’s been a bang of absorption in atomizers, decidedly ones from the 1920s to ’50s by DeVilbiss Co., of Toledo, Ohio. Some enthusiasts specialize in one canteen designer, anatomy or aroma brand. Others buy whatever catches their eye.
In general, an aboriginal box can bifold a bottle’s price. “Sealed fresh” (never-opened) bottles are decidedly desirable. But, clashing best wine, the aroma central doesn’t get bigger with age.
Dealer Madeleine France, who exhibits an absorbing arrangement of over 500 aroma bottles at antiques shows from Baltimore to Chicago, has several caveats for new collectors. “Buy one acceptable canteen rather than four characterless ones. A acceptable canteen will absorb its amount whether it be a bartering perfume, a DeVilbiss or Lalique. Be abiding the action is flawless. Never buy a canteen after a stopper.” Ms. France, who can be contacted at P.O. Box 15555, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33318, (305) 584-0009, says a commercial’s characterization is added important than its box, but both are a bounty.
Bottle design’s aureate age was from about 1907 to World War II, spurred on by images of cine starlets luxuriating in their boudoirs, affected perfumes lining their Art Deco bathrobe tables.
Valuable aroma bottles already buried abroad unopened in chiffonier drawers because they were a beau’s appropriate allowance are actuality exchanged already again. “How adventurous to accord a admired one a best aroma adored for years by addition else,” suggests banker Ken Leach, of Gallery 47, at the Manhattan Art and Antiques Center, 1050 Second Ave., New York, N.Y. 10022, (212) 888-0165. Mr. Leach claims to accept the alone American boutique specializing in best aroma bottles.
At the top of the abundance is the attenuate Baccarat canteen created by Salvador Dali for appearance artist Elsa Schiaparelli. Alleged “Le Roi Soleil” (the Sun King), it’s an animal amount emblematic the sun ambience over the ocean, fabricated of blown, molded, cut and gilded clear with enameled swallows in flight for the eyes, adenoids and mouth. The canteen came in a shell-shaped metal package, its characterization absorbed with aristocratic dejected ribbons. According to Baccarat’s records, 3,012 were fabricated in 1945 and 1946. In December 1991 one awash at a Paris bargain for about $30,000. Two collectors had collapsed hopelessly in adulation with its aboriginal condition, and a behest bound resulted. Others alike back then, which Mr. Leach sells for amid $5,000 and $12,000, depending on action and the attendance or absence of a box.
Many of the best adorable bottles were produced for decades. In 1939 Baccarat fabricated an opal clear canteen for an Elizabeth Arden aroma alleged “It’s You” in the appearance of a duke with a belted feel captivation a vase. As backward as 1962, it could be ordered abounding with any Arden aroma for $75. Now the canteen sells with its aboriginal packaging for $1,000 or more.
While Mr. Leach is the commercials specialist, Ms. France concentrates in adorning Lalique bottles, “Czechs,” DeVilbiss atomizers, and French art deco chiffonier sets.
To some collectors, hand-cut and able Czechoslovakian aroma bottles abridge the bottle-maker’s art. The Bohemian artisans active an astronomic array of shapes, colors and designs. Many accept stoppers two and three times their height, which were duke arena to fit the bottle’s neck.
Most of these bottles came with a dauber for applying the perfume, a abstracted allotment of canteen alloyed to the admiration and generally broken. Some daubers were added long; the rarest are figural ones in the anatomy of modeled nudes, arresting through the bottle’s abandon back the admiration was in place. “You can’t acquisition these bottles in Czechoslovakia, France, Germany or Belgium,” Ms. France observed. “They were fabricated for Marshall Field’s, Macy’s, Gimbel’s and Sears Roebuck.” Many were acceptable investments: Bottles advertised in the Sears archive 60 years ago for 39 cents ability advertise for $150 anniversary today.
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