Imagine a room stacked with the most precious perfume bottles in the world – crystal flacons glinting and variously dipped in gold, lavished with gems, painstakingly enamelled or perhaps a revolving perfume carousel. Such visions are not merely scenes torn from Marie Antoinette’s diary; for once a year, perfume lovers, collectors and dealers from around the world gather to not only marvel at the impeccable selection, as you might in a museum’s display; but to bid on them and take them home….
Having fallen madly in the love with the extremely rare 1928 Parfums de Marcy, trompe l’oeil presentation “Le Bracelet Miraculeux,” – five scents disguised as an art deco bracelet [see above], which sold for $33,000 (a teeny bit out of our price range, sadly…) we knew they would be special – but these are above and beyond.
This year, the Perfume Bottles Auction will take place at 5pm on Friday, May 5th at the Hyatt Regency in Princeton, New Jersey. We’re aware many readers possibly wont be able to make it there in person, but we absolutely guarantee you’ll want to feast your eyes on the sumptuous bottles as we take a look at some of the highlights submitted thus far. The auction catalogue hasn’t even yet been printed, so we were thrilled they were kind enough to get in touch and ask if we’d like a sneak peek.
Well yes. Yes, we would.
The Perfume Bottles Auction is directed by Ken Leach; each year he seeks out the most desirable and unique perfume bottles. This highly prestigious event is the longest running specialty auction of perfume bottles worldwide, and takes place during the annual three-day extravaganza for perfume bottle lovers annual International Perfume Bottles Association convention 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, and this year features 250 lots to tempt prospective bidders. Simply put, each item is fabulous and lust-worthy, so it’s hard to pick a favourite, but some of our choices to watch (or bid on, should the fancy take you!) are as follows:
This elaborate French 1820s Charles X Palais Royal perfume carousel made of gilt bronze mounted on an abalone shell with Baccarat cut crystal bottles is estimated to sell between $10,000 and $20,000.
Perfume bottle made by Baccarat in 1926. Made for perfumer Godet for the “Petite Fleur Bleue” fragrance. The crystal bottle is in the shape of a woman’s skirt, while the frost stopper with grey patina perfectly depicts a woman holding flowers. Estimated to sell between $5,000 and $6,000.
Perfume bottle “Gros Fruits” designed by Rene Lalique in 1919 and was available for purchase at Maison Lalique. The detail of plums on the bottle is molded in high relief and colored by grey patina. Estimated to sell between $10,000 to $15,000.
1920s Czechoslovakian “nude dauber” perfume bottle by Heinrich Hoffmann. The bottle is mounted on gilt metal
and decorated with faux jade crystal. The bottle is topped with a frosted
glass medusa medallion. Estimated to sell btw. $5,000-$7,000
UK based collectors and anyone enthralled by the world of fragrance bottle art will be glad to know here is also a UK branch of the organisation, and you can find out more about their activities at ipba-uk.co.uk
Ken Leach is currently accepting consignments for the 2017 auction to be held in Princeton, New Jersey.
Contact: [email protected]
Written by Suzy Nightingale