Smelling bottle

Object Number: 
1965.767j
Date: 
1850-1925
Medium: 
Glass, brass
Dimensions: 
Overall: 4 x 2 x 2 1/2 in. ( 10.2 x 5.1 x 6.4 cm )
Description: 
Translucent red non-lead glass smelling bottle (or pungent) in the shape of a sword, with glass blade and brass caps at each end of hilt, with chain suspended from hooks and ending in ring; brass caps covered in decorative flowers and scrolls, with knob at top of top cap.
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