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Smelling bottle

Object Number: 
1965.767h
Date: 
1850-1900
Medium: 
Glass, brass
Dimensions: 
Overall: 5 x 1 3/8 in. ( 12.7 x 3.5 cm )
Marks: 
engraved: on one end of bottle cap: "[intertwined letters [illeg.]"
Description: 
Translucent red non-lead glass smelling bottle (or pungent) composed of two central pieces blown and rolled in gather of glass, cut into 10-sided form; brass caps at either end, decorated with elaborate scrollwork surrounding flat disk at top, engraved with illegible maker's mark or monogram at one 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