Update

New-York Historical is temporarily closed to help contain the spread of COVID-19, but we expect to reopen August 14 with a free, outdoor exhibition. See more details on our Visit page.

Smelling bottle

Object Number: 
1965.766g
Date: 
1820-1890
Medium: 
Glass, white metal
Dimensions: 
Overall: 3 1/4 x 1 1/4 x 3/4 in. ( 8.3 x 3.2 x 1.9 cm )
Description: 
Opaque white non-lead glass smelling bottle (or pungent) with metal ringed cap; hexagonal shape with wide ogival side on each end and 2 narrow ogival sides on each end.
Gallery Label: 

The main purpose of smelling bottles, or pungents, was to mask unpleasant odors, and thus they usually held smelling salts. They were first stoppered by corks and eventually by screw caps. The capacity of these bottles ranges from fractions of a dram to a little over an ounce.

Credit Line: 
Bequest of Mrs. F. MacDonald Sinclair (Jennie H. Sinclair)
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group