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Let's Look at Some Vintage Perfume Bottles From the IPBA 2014 Auction

Lot 68
1920s Aladin Figural Perfume Lamp
LADY IN RED - 1920s Aladin perfume lamp, hand decorated porcelain, red and black floral motif. Aladin mark. Not electrified. 7 1/4 in. Estimate: $500+ [link]

Lot 70
1920s Aladin Figural Perfume Lamp
LADY IN BLUE - 1920s Aladin perfume lamp, hand decorated porcelain, blue and gold butterfly motif. Aladin mark. Electrified. 7 1/4 in. Estimate: $500 [link]

Here is an excerpt from Scent Of Mystery: The Allure of The Perfume Lamp by Donald-Brian Johnson [Source link] :

"Developed in the 1800s, the original intent was to improve the atmosphere in places that really needed it - specifically, hospitals and mortuaries. The lamp’s low-temperature catalytic combustion process converted unpleasant odor molecules into more acceptable substances - carbon dioxide and water.

Unlike the candle, the perfume lamp was longer-lasting, and, despite its acohol-based fuel, significantly safer to use.

Frenchman Maurice Berger realized that even more sales possibilities would be ignited if perfume was added to the lamp fuel. In 1897, he received a patent on this process, and his firm, Lampe Berger, brought out the first true “fragrance lamp”.

Although some ceramic perfume lamp designs, (overflowing flower baskets, winsome country maidens), were clearly intended for the living room mantel, others were just as clearly intended for more intimate surroundings. Glittering with desirability, the perfume lamp made every woman feel like a queen. 

Among the manufacturers hot on the perfume lamp scent: Robj, Aladin, and Etling, each attempting to outdo the other with exotic figural themes. 

There were “Geisha” perfume lamps...“Sultan and Beloved” perfume lamps. . . “Scheherezade” perfume lamps. 

With the right mood lighting, even the most banal of bedrooms became a romantic hideaway in the Taj Mahal. And that, of course, was the idea. "

Lot 200
1920s Ahmed Soliman Set of 3 Crystal Perfume Bottles
1920s Ahmed Soliman set, 3 Czechoslovakian crystal perfume bottles, one black with gold and silver gilt detail, two clear with gilt and colorful enamel detail, metal screw caps with jewel finials, one dauber, all with gilt name labels, one paper label “Queen of Egypt,” box. 6 in. Estimate: $1,500+ [link]

Ahmed Soliman
Cairo's Perfume King

An Ahmed Soliman advertisement

Excerpt from Essence and Alchemy by Mandy Aftel

Photo of the Perfume King himself, Ahmed Soliman, 1942.

According to the excellent perfume bottle history blog Cleopatra's Boudoir
  • Ahmed Soliman El Mowardi (1906-1956) had a perfumery located at the Khan-Khalili Bazaar in Cairo, Egypt during the first half of the 20th century. Ahmed Soliman marketed himself as "Cairo's Perfume King". Though established in 1838, the 1920s were the height of his perfumes popularity.
  • The perfumes were compounded in Egypt, but the bottles were imported from Czechoslovakia. Most of the bottles are decorated with rich gilding and vibrant enamels of Egyptian gods & goddesses, or stylized Egyptian motifs. Some stoppers have faceted glass jewels. 
  • Note: The Shimy Brothers Perfumery of Cairo also produced fine perfumes in exquisite flacons during the same time period. These bottles are nearly indistinguishable from Ahmed Soliman's unless your pieces are marked. 
  • Shimy Brothers sometimes had the words "The Artistic Perfumers- Port Said - Cairo - Luxor - Egypt" either on the bottles or on the presentation boxes. A calling card inserted within the presentation box advertised "Mr. A. Shimy. Proprietor, Address: Shepheard's Hotel, Cairo."

Lot 92
c1930 Ingrid, Czech Black Crystal Perfume Bottle
c1930 Ingrid, Czechoslovakian perfume bottle, black crystal, figural malachite crystal stopper, dauber. MIC in oval. 5 7/8 in. Estimate: $2,000+ [link]

Ingrid Czech Perfume bottles 
designed by 
Hoffman and Schlevogt

Excerpted from an article on the History of Czech Perfume Bottles:

Hoffmann and Schlevogt. Heinrich Hoffmann (1875 - 1939 ) was prominent among glass makers at the luxury level of vanity glass production. He and colleague Henry G√ľnther Schlevogt (1904 - 1984 )manufactured from their own designs, and those of famed contemporary artists. Hoffmann´s reputation as the specialist for articles made of jet black crystal was established in Paris just prior to the time of Lalique´s venture into glass.
In 1933- three years after his departure from Hoffmann- Schlevogt perfected his stone glass with the help of Walter Riedel from Polaun. Using molds designed by Hoffmann and modern artists of renown, he found great success with what he named the Ingrid line ( which were named after his daughter Ingrid), shown at domestic and international expositions from 1934 to 1939, winning the Grand Prix at the World´s Fair in Paris in 1937. [Read more: source]

More history of the Curt Schlevogt glass company.

Lot 99
c1930 Ingrid Czech Turquoise Crystal Perfume Bottle
c1930 Ingrid, Czechoslovakian perfume bottle and openwork stopper, opaque turquoise crystal, dauber, gilt filigree metalwork, Bakelite and crystal jewels. Ingrid - Czech mark, Czech on metalwork. 8 3/4 in. Estimate $1,000+ [link]

Lot 232
1925 Paul Poiret Rosine "1925" Perfume Bottle
1925 Rosine 1925 perfume bottle, frost glass with patterned surface, sepia patina, ruby glass stopper, tassel. 5 in. Estimate: $800+ [link]


Paul Poiret, reigned supreme in the Paris haute couture between 1903 and World War I. He was the first designer:
  • To invent and market the first signature fragrance which he named after his daughter, Rosine
  • A second scent went on the market in 1912 , “Le Minaret,” which reflected the harem theme which pervaded his designs.
  • To promote the concept of “total lifestyle”. He did this by expanding his clothing house to include not only fragrances, but also furniture and decor. [Source]
[Source: +Q Perfume Blog]

  • In 1911 Paul Poiret became the first high fashion designer to establish his own perfume company, Les Parfums de Rosine, and author Christie Mayer Lefkowith intertwines the biography of Paul Poiret (1879 to 1944), with the in-depth study of his creations for Rosine Perfumes in her book, Paul Poiret and his Rosine Perfumes.

Lot 27
1880s Meriden Victorian Vanity Garniture
1880s American Victorian vanity garniture, perfume bottles and powder box, pink Bohemian glass, gilt bands with enamel floral decoration. Ornate silver plate metal stand with floral and hummingbird motif. Stand marked: Meriden Co. NY, and Meriden Britannia Quadruple, MeridenCT. Stand: 14 in.Estimate: $2,000+ [link]

Lot 31
1880s Meriden Victorian Vanity Garniture
1880s American Victorian vanity garniture, perfume bottles and powder box, French blue opaline glass, gilt bands with enamel beading and three angels with children in relief. Figural silver plate metal stand with suspended baskets. Stand marked: Meriden Silver Plate Co. Assembled 21 in. Estimate: $2,000+ [link]

Lot 32
1880s Meriden Victorian Vanity Garniture
1880s American Victorian vanity garniture, perfume bottles and powder box, pink Bohemian satin glass, gilt bands with enamel floral decoration. Ornate silver plate metal stand with bird and Egyptian floral accents. Stand marked: Meriden Silver Plate Co. Quadruple Plate. Stand 13 3/4 in. Estimate: $1500+ [link]

1. The Meriden Silver Plate Co. Was started in 1869.

2. It's factories were in Meriden Connecticut. 

3. It helped form the International Silver Company in 1898.

4. It is not the same company as the Meriden Britannia Company

You often see these types of blue, pink, white glass bottle / decanter / vanity / dresser sets, but not in those exquisite Meriden Silver Plate Co. holders. The glass is often referred to as Bristol Glass, though it's not made by the Bristol Glass Companty. It's just become a sort of generic catch-all term for the pretty hand painted " semiopaque glass of various color tones, notably deep blue, used for decorative glassware and commonly painted with floral designs" .

Opaline glass is probably a better term to use.

The auction catalog also calls it Bohemian glass, but that covers more than just the pictured pink and blue glass items.

Read this article that tries to straighten out the confusion: Bristol Glass  -- "Bristol, like Battersea is one of those magic words to the collector. Everyone wants his opaque glass to be Bristol, and every dealer thus puts the Bristol tag on certain type of opaque white and colored glass, knowing full well that it probably came from Germany, France, or Bohemia or at best Birmingham or Stourbridge and not Bristol."


The above perfume bottles are just a few of my faves from so many incredible beautiful rarities in the 2014 IPBA Convention Auction catalog. 

Here's a little more info:

  • Friday, May 2nd, 2014 the Perfume Bottles Auction, in conjunction with the International Perfume Bottle Association’s 26th annual convention in Pittsburgh, PA, will offer 300 lots of vintage perfume bottles and vanity items.
  • This IPBA hosted event is the longest running specialty auction of perfume bottles in the world and returning clients have come to expect unique, undocumented, and seldom seen bottles to appear in the Perfume Bottles Auction. 
  • The IPBA PERFUME BOTTLES AUCTION, organized by renowned specialist Ken Leach, is the official auction of the International Perfume Bottle Association’s annual convention. This auction is the highlight event of the IPBA weekend and is attended by hundreds of collectors from around the world. 

  • Click through to learn more about the IPBA Annual Convention -- Pittsburgh, PA -- April 30th, 2014 - May 4th, 2014
  • A three-day extravaganza featuring the world's premiere exhibition and sale with the field's leading dealers featuring thousands of bottles and an internationally recognized auction. The convention draws together collectors and dealers from around the world.

Read the convention schedule pdf [link] -- they are planning some wonderful seminars and excursions. Well worth reading even if you can't attend.


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