Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pair of perfume bottles

John Bodington (British, active 1688–1727)
British, London
Silver gilt, glass inside
Overall (.15 a-d): 6 11/16 in. (17 cm) Overall (.15 e): 4 15/16 in. (12.5 cm) Overall (.16 a-d): 6 13/16 in. (17.3 cm) Overall (.16 e): 5 in. (12.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1970
Accession Number:
1970.131.15a–e, .16a–e
Not on view
The engraved arms on these perfume bottles are beautifully preserved. Even the delicate circle traced by the engraver as a compositional aid has not worn off. The system of indicating colors or tinctures in the arms had not been widely adopted yet, so these arms cannot be securely identified. The bottles were part of a large silver dressing-table service that would have included a mirror, combs, brushes, and boxes for powder and pomade—all the necessary implements for grooming.
Inscription: On base of .15 a): 11 = 15 (weight);
On base of .16 a): 11 = 5 = 12 (weight)

Marking: [1] Britannia (English quality mark for sterling);
[2] Lion's head erased (English quality mark for sterling) (partial strike);
[3] Gothic e, in pointed shield, (date letter for 1700-01);
[4] BO, fleur-de-lis below, mitre above (maker's mark) (Grimwade 201).

Location of marks:
[1] on .15a) and .16a) above rosette;
[2] on .15a) on side above arms: on .16a) on side; on .15b) and .16b) on top surface;
[3] on .15a) on side above arms, on .16a) on side below rosette;
[4] on .16a) on side and on .16b) on underside
Irwin Untermyer (until 1970; to MMA)
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