• FA-118706 (Inv.Nr. 19371), © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
  • FA-120073 (Inv.Nr. 22115), © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
  • FA-122247 (Inv.Nr. 22116), © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
  • FA-120080 (Inv.Nr. 22118), © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
  • FA-120085 (Inv.Nr. 22763), © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
  • FA-120068 (Inv.Nr. 22113), © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
  • FA-120070 (Inv.Nr. 22114), © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
  • FA-120084 (Inv.Nr. 22762), © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
  • FA-120095 (Inv.Nr. 36814), © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Production Technology
Collection
Glass and Ceramics
Epoch
1800 - 1849
At the moment this object is not published in the museum.

Perfume bottles, Bohemia, Paris, London, 1841-1853

Test
Remember

Perfume, that precious volatile essence, deserves a receptacle that befits its contents. No wonder, then, that these receptacles have themselves often been, and still are, precious.

In the old days, scented fragrances of all kinds were purchased from the apothecary’s in ordinary medicine bottles. Ladies during the early 19th century Biedermeier period did just that and, back in their boudoirs, would pour the precious essences into luxury containers of their own choosing (Fig. 1). Except that these bottles were not particularly practical.

Smaller, lighter receptacles were needed for out and about. These delicate objects were usually made of glass, richly ornamented, and fitted with a polished stopper and a metal mount. The lower part of the stopper and the bottle neck were polished by hand to ensure a perfect fit. The elaborately worked metal cap with its screw top might also be fitted with a delicate little chain. These bottles are of interest not just aesthetically, but also in terms of production technology. Indeed, these receptacles highlight the entire spectrum of the art of glassmaking: all kinds of colours and shapes, ground or polished, painted or overlaid, with caps in bronze, silver or gilt.

In the early 19th century, Paris was the world’s undisputed fashion capital and, as such, it led the way in the manufacture of luxury items. The ever expanding perfume industry based in France in turn gave rise to a flourishing glass manufacturing industry. As a cosmopolitan city, Paris is certainly reflected in the light, elegant design of the perfume bottles shown here from the collection of the Technisches Museum Wien (Fig. 2-5). Around that time, England seems somewhat sturdier in its demonstration of craftsmanship. These respectable, somewhat conservative bottles illustrate the range of cutting and polishing techniques (Fig. 6-9). But they are no match for France’s effortlessly playful elegance. These miniatures, a mere 6 - 14 cm in size, are indeed little gems, treasures, delightful vessels for contents almost immaterial in their essence.


Manufacturer: M. A. Bienert, Windisch-Kamnitz (Srbská Kamenice), Bohemia, 1841
Inv. No. 19371

Manufacturer: Richard, Paris, c 1851
Inv. No. 22115, 22116, 22118, 22763

Manufacturer: London, c 1853
Inv. No. 22113, 22114, 22762, 36814



Inv.Nr. 19371/1
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