A GUIDE TO SILVER VINAIGRETTES & THEIR VALUE

Have you ever wondered what your Silver Vinaigrette is worth?

Find out more about the history of Silver Vinaigrettes and get in touch using the form below for a free valuation.

An Introduction to Silver Vinaigrettes

Silver vinaigrettes were popular during the late 1800s into the mid-1900s and are very collectable. They held a sponge soaked in aromatic liquid and a perforated cover or grill allowed the scented vapours to escape. Vinaigrettes were most commonly crafted of sterling silver.

Masking smells through the centuries

Before vinaigrettes came into vogue, pomanders were used for the same purpose of masking unwanted smells. The use of pomanders dates back to the Middle Ages. The wealthy class used pomanders crafted of gold or silver to hold their fragrances. Pomanders were often decorated with jewels and shaped like fruits. They were worn on a chain as decorative jewellery. The pomanders contained substances revered for their powers against diseases like the plague. Orange rinds were wrapped up in sponges soaked in vinegar, then placed inside the pomander.

King Henry VIII favoured the pounce box, which was a flat sphere made of gold or silver. It had a pierced lid and hung from a cord or chain around the waist. The use of the pounce box was elevated during Elizabeth I’s reign, when the fragrance was inhaled from the box as a ritual of social manners.

As aromatics became more concentrated in the 1770s, a smaller sized container became more common, and vinaigrettes took the stage.

Free Valuations on Your
Silver Vinaigrette

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A history of Silver Vinaigrettes

Both men and women used vinaigrettes beginning in the 1780s but by 1820 women were the primary users. Vinaigrettes were carried in pockets or worn on a chain around the waist. Women were prone to swooning from the tight laces on their corsets, and the strong aromatics inside the vinaigrette could be used to revive the senses. Vinaigrettes had hinged lids that could be flicked open for quick inhalation.

Silversmiths in Birmingham produced most of the vinaigrettes. They gilded the insides to inhibit discoloration from the vinegar. Most vinaigrettes were simply designed on the outside in oval or rectangular shapes. Some have engraved or embossed decoration on the lid. Monograms were popular, featuring the initials of the giver, recipient, or both. Prominent houses and churches were featured on vinaigrettes in the 1830s. The grills often feature elaborate filigree or scrollwork.

A-silver-pomander

What affects the value of silver vinaigrettes?

novelty silver vinaigrette

Novelty vinaigrettes 

The most sought-after silver vinaigrettes have a novelty shape. This example in the form of a house would be worth up to £1,000 if it came to market. As there are so many rectangular vinaigrettes on the market, collectors favour more unusual shapes.

Macallan Whisky Worth

Castle top vinaigrettes

Another sought after group of vinaigrettes are Castle Top Silver vinaigrettes. These have a view of a famous landmark stamped onto the top and were often made as souvenirs. They weren’t popular for long and you can learn more about castle top silver here

silver vinaigrette worth

Combination vinaigrettes

Combination vinaigrettes will combine a vinaigrette compartment with another function. The silver vinaigrette pictured above combines a sovereign holder and a compass along with the vinaigrette. Such combinations are highly sought-after. 

silver vinaigrette with micromosaic

Micromosaic & hardstone mounts

Some very exclusive silver vinaigrettes will be mounted with a micromosaic panel or set with a hardstone cover. These would have been very expensive when they were made, especially micromosaic vinaigrettes. The market is very good for such vinaigrettes; they can make tens of thousands.

Macallan Whisky Worth

Deeply cast borders

The depth of the casting and chasing of the mounts on a silver vinaigrette can have a big impact on the value.  Those with shallow or average borders are common and are not that popular with collectors. However, if your silver vinaigrette has a very deep border then it will be very sought after. 

silver vinaigrette guide history

Condition of the grille

The grille is what keeps the sponge in place and allows the aroma to come through. If the grille is damaged or missing it will often not be economically viable to have the grille replaced. However, if it is one of the collectable silver vinaigrettes it may be worth getting the grille fixed as it may still be very desirable. 

Receive a free valuation for your Silver Vinaigrette

Basic Contact Form
Images of Your Item
Drop a file here or click to upload Choose File
Maximum upload size: 10.49MB
Are You a Robot?
I agree to the privacy policy *

How we can help you sell your silver vinaigrette

Mark Littler Ltd. are one of the only independent advisers in the antique industry. We offer trusted, independent advice to help you sell your silver vinaigrette for the highest possible price.

If you have a silver vinaigrette you may be considering selling at auction. An auction can be one of the best ways to sell your collection, however, not all auctions are equal so care must be taken when considering which auction house to use. The use of ‘the internet’ is not the universal leveller that many salerooms will lead you to believe. We can make a personal introduction to the best saleroom based on your location free of charge. You can then be assured your collection of silver will sell for the highest possible price.

If we think it will be more beneficial to you, we can also negotiate private sales, which can save you considerably in commission. Private sales can also be completed swiftly and you will get paid more quickly than if you sell via an auction.

Selling your silver vinaigrette with Mark Littler Ltd.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (4)

Send us details about your vinaigrette directly via email or use the form below.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (2)

We contact our international network of customers for the best offers.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (3)

If you decide to proceed with an offer we issue you with a contract.

Mark Littler LTD can help collect and delivery your items with our fully insured service.

Send us your vinaigrette. We have a fully insured courier service available.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (1)

We complete the sale with the buyer and send your funds via BACS.

Have you ever wondered what your Silver Vinaigrette is worth?

Find out more about the history of Silver Vinaigrettes and get in touch using the form below for a free valuation.

An Introduction to Silver Vinaigrettes

Silver vinaigrettes were popular during the late 1800s into the mid-1900s and are very collectable. They held a sponge soaked in aromatic liquid and a perforated cover or grill allowed the scented vapours to escape. Vinaigrettes were most commonly crafted of sterling silver.

Masking smells through the centuries

Before vinaigrettes came into vogue, pomanders were used for the same purpose of masking unwanted smells. The use of pomanders dates back to the Middle Ages. The wealthy class used pomanders crafted of gold or silver to hold their fragrances. Pomanders were often decorated with jewels and shaped like fruits. They were worn on a chain as decorative jewellery. The pomanders contained substances revered for their powers against diseases like the plague. Orange rinds were wrapped up in sponges soaked in vinegar, then placed inside the pomander.

King Henry VIII favoured the pounce box, which was a flat sphere made of gold or silver. It had a pierced lid and hung from a cord or chain around the waist. The use of the pounce box was elevated during Elizabeth I’s reign, when the fragrance was inhaled from the box as a ritual of social manners.

As aromatics became more concentrated in the 1770s, a smaller sized container became more common, and vinaigrettes took the stage.

Free Valuations on Your
Silver Vinaigrette

Basic Contact MINI
Images of Your Item
Drop a file here or click to upload Choose File
Maximum upload size: 10.49MB
Are You a Robot?
I agree to the privacy policy *

A history of Silver Vinaigrettes

Both men and women used vinaigrettes beginning in the 1780s but by 1820 women were the primary users. Vinaigrettes were carried in pockets or worn on a chain around the waist. Women were prone to swooning from the tight laces on their corsets, and the strong aromatics inside the vinaigrette could be used to revive the senses. Vinaigrettes had hinged lids that could be flicked open for quick inhalation.

Silversmiths in Birmingham produced most of the vinaigrettes. They gilded the insides to inhibit discoloration from the vinegar. Most vinaigrettes were simply designed on the outside in oval or rectangular shapes. Some have engraved or embossed decoration on the lid. Monograms were popular, featuring the initials of the giver, recipient, or both. Prominent houses and churches were featured on vinaigrettes in the 1830s. The grills often feature elaborate filigree or scrollwork.

A-silver-pomander

What affects the value of silver vinaigrettes?

novelty silver vinaigrette

Novelty vinaigrettes 

The most sought-after silver vinaigrettes have a novelty shape. This example in the form of a house would be worth up to £1,000 if it came to market. As there are so many rectangular vinaigrettes on the market, collectors favour more unusual shapes.

Macallan Whisky Worth

Castle top vinaigrettes

Another sought after group of vinaigrettes are Castle Top Silver vinaigrettes. These have a view of a famous landmark stamped onto the top and were often made as souvenirs. They weren’t popular for long and you can learn more about castle top silver here

silver vinaigrette worth

Combination vinaigrettes

Combination vinaigrettes will combine a vinaigrette compartment with another function. The silver vinaigrette pictured above combines a sovereign holder and a compass along with the vinaigrette. Such combinations are highly sought-after. 

silver vinaigrette with micromosaic

Micromosaic & hardstone mounts

Some very exclusive silver vinaigrettes will be mounted with a micromosaic panel or set with a hardstone cover. These would have been very expensive when they were made, especially micromosaic vinaigrettes. The market is very good for such vinaigrettes; they can make tens of thousands.

Macallan Whisky Worth

Deeply cast borders

The depth of the casting and chasing of the mounts on a silver vinaigrette can have a big impact on the value.  Those with shallow or average borders are common and are not that popular with collectors. However, if your silver vinaigrette has a very deep border then it will be very sought after. 

silver vinaigrette guide history

Condition of the grille

The grille is what keeps the sponge in place and allows the aroma to come through. If the grille is damaged or missing it will often not be economically viable to have the grille replaced. However, if it is one of the collectable silver vinaigrettes it may be worth getting the grille fixed as it may still be very desirable. 

Receive a free valuation for your Silver Vinaigrette

Basic Contact MINI
Images of Your Item
Drop a file here or click to upload Choose File
Maximum upload size: 10.49MB
Are You a Robot?
I agree to the privacy policy *

How we can help you sell your silver vinaigrette

Mark Littler Ltd. are one of the only independent advisers in the antique industry. We offer trusted, independent advice to help you sell your silver vinaigrette for the highest possible price.

If you have a silver vinaigrette you may be considering selling at auction. An auction can be one of the best ways to sell your collection, however, not all auctions are equal so care must be taken when considering which auction house to use. The use of ‘the internet’ is not the universal leveller that many salerooms will lead you to believe. We can make a personal introduction to the best saleroom based on your location free of charge. You can then be assured your collection of silver will sell for the highest possible price.

If we think it will be more beneficial to you, we can also negotiate private sales, which can save you considerably in commission. Private sales can also be completed swiftly and you will get paid more quickly than if you sell via an auction.

Selling your silver vinaigrette with Mark Littler Ltd.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (4)

Send us details about your vinaigrette directly via email or use the form below.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (2)

We contact our international network of customers for the best offers.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (3)

If you decide to proceed with an offer we issue you with a contract.

Mark Littler LTD can help collect and delivery your items with our fully insured service.

Send us your vinaigrette. We have a fully insured courier service available.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (1)

We complete the sale with the buyer and send your funds via BACS.