A silver vinaigrette by 19th century British silversmith Samuel Pemberton. People used vinaigrettes beginning around 1700 to carry a chosen scent on cotton inside a small personal container.
The surface of the little box is finely decorated with a hand-tooled meander design. The central cartouche on the lid is engraved with a previous owner’s name and “Irvine.” The inside of the box is vermeil (a gold wash over silver). The internal grille cover that held the fragrance is a lovely curvaceous filigree.
The vinaigrette is well marked on the inside of the lid and again on the inside bottom, under the filigree grille, with hallmarks for Samuel Pemberton, the lion passant mark for sterling silver, anchor stamp for Birmingham and date stamp for 1803.
The box measures 1 1/4″ long by 7/8″ x 3/8″ deep. In very good antique condition.