The Secret to Successful Vintage Perfume Bottles Collecting 
Sunday, January 24, 2010, 09:24 PM
Ask around and you will know that most women have a huge collection of perfumes and fragrances. They have become such an essential part of our lives that many of us will not step out of the house without first dabbing a few drops of our favorite scent. However, do not be surprised if many people buy perfume not for the contents but for the beautiful bottles themselves! While pretty perfume bottles are aplenty, it is the antique perfume bottle that is most sought after. Given the unique history, artwork and precision of each antique piece, some collectors will not hesitate to fork out several thousand dollars just for it!

Archeologists have discovered intricate perfume bottles within the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs, and it is believed that Egyptians were the first to incorporate fragrances and perfume into their cultural rituals. The most diverse materials, like gold, hard stones, glasses of colors and others had been used by the Egyptians to keep their perfumes. But the most used ones were made of alabaster that the neighbor desert of Libya provided them with.

The use of glass to create antique perfume bottles was not utilized until 1500 B.C. To possess a glass perfume bottle was quite an honor in those days as they were reserved for the wealthy. Perfume was used on a regular basis during ancient times in Rome, Greece and Venice, giving rise to various perfume bottle creations. Glass perfume bottles were created in England during the 16th century, followed by the emergence of Murano glassblowers during the 17th century. The Americas did not catch wind of the perfume bottle until the mid-1700s when the importation of these objects from England started.

It was not until the 18th century that perfume bottle designs were taken seriously. In the 1800s, designers in New England started to experiment with different colors, sizes and shapes, creating a myriad of beautiful antique perfume bottles that we see today. One designer even came up with a perfume bottle that resembled the Liberty Bell in 1876! Throughout the 1900s, collectors grouped perfume bottles by styles. As a collector, you may have come across styles and designs like the Steuban, Imperial, Victorian, Art Deco and Art Nouveau (glistening colors).

There are a wide variety of styles, cuts, and colors to select from when you are looking for the ideal antique perfume bottle to add to your collection. While lovely hand-painted scenes were prevalent on bottles in the early 1900s, gold details were used extensively on perfume bottles created during the Victorian era. Because some of the perfume bottles were small and so exquisite, they could even double up as a piece of jewelry. In fact, perfume bottles were extremely fashionable as decorations and enhancements during the 1880s.

There is a rich and interesting history behind each antique perfume bottle. Just invest a little bit of time to learn about the tips of choosing the right bottles and you will be on your way to a rewarding hobby!

by Serene Jones

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