Lightning in a Bottle: Helmuth Stone Gallery’s Lifetime Perfume Bottle Collection – Benefit Auction
Helmuth Stone Gallery of Sarasota, FL is hosting its Lifetime Perfume Bottle Collection – Benefit auction on November 28, 2023. This event includes over 450 lots of premier antique to contemporary perfume vials of all sorts, as well as related vanity materials– all from one fine Jacksonville, FL collection. Notably, all proceeds from this sale will be used to help fund a new roof for the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church of Palm Coast, FL. Here are some stunning auction highlights from this charity sale that caught the eye of the Auction Daily team.
Lalique ‘Le Baiser Du Faune’ Bottle
One of the top offerings in this sale is lot #2, René Lalique’s ‘Le Baiser Du Faune’ (The Kiss of the Fawn) bottle, estimated at USD 1,500 to $3,000. This round, clear, and frosted perfume bottle features two young lovers in a dramatic and passionate kiss. It measures about 5.5 inches tall, including its ball-topped, etched stopper. The perfume company Molinard introduced this bottle design in 1928. The bottle was molded by Lalique and is signed Molinard Paris France.
Molinard was founded in 1849 in Grasse, Provence, in the south of France, by chemist Hyacinthe Molinard. In 1900, the company moved into an old perfume factory, which was engineered in part by Gustave Eiffel, the same designer of the Eiffel Tower and other legacy landmarks. The company, now a fifth generation enterprise, is still headquartered there today. Starting in the 1920s, Molinard began partnering with famous glassmakers including René Lalique and Viard to create breathtaking vessels for their premier fragrances.
André Jolivet Boule Flacon Bottle
Perfume bottles in their original packaging take the spotlight in this important sale. Lot #1, a boule flacon bottle by André Jolivet, is estimated at $1,000 to $2,000. It held the fragrance “June Roses” by Morny, a London perfumery. This circa 1911 example has a diameter of about two inches. It is clear on the bottom with an elaborately molded floral-inspired top. The bottle is decorated with a braided and knotted tassel and includes its factory original, three-inch tall, eight sided, gilded drop front paper box simulating Thuya wood.
“Boule” here references the shape of traditional French bread, which is often in the form of a slightly compressed sphere. According to Helmuth Stone Gallery’s experts, Morny was established in 1905 by chemist-perfumer Sidney F. Goss at 110 New Bond Street, London. The company was named after a horse called Mornington, ridden by Victorian jockey Tom Cannon. Morny’s fragrance, June Roses, debuted in 1911 and was an immediate sensation. By 1919, its essence was incorporated into a number of the company’s toiletry products including talcum powder, bath salts, toilet soap, sachets, shampoo, and potpourri, and others.
Baccarat Elizabeth Arden ‘Cyclamen’ Bottle
This sale includes a fine collection of bottles designed and produced by Baccarat. Lot #143, an Elizabeth Arden ‘Cyclamen’ perfume bottle, is estimated at $400 to $800. This 1930s-era white crystal vessel in the form of a fan is decorated with gold trim on its narrow sides. It measures about six inches tall, including its dramatic, spear-shaped stopper. It is signed Baccarat on its base.
Baccarat was founded in 1765 in Baccarat, France. The company’s earliest production included glass panes for windows, table serving pieces, and items for industrial use. In 1817, Baccarat was purchased by a Belgian company that specialized in lead crystal. This soon would become Baccarat’s expertise as well. Baccarat would go on to win its first gold medal in 1823 at an international art glass fair; its display at the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in 1925 was instrumental in defining and ushering in the Art Deco movement.
Hoffmann Crystal Perfume Bottle
Bottles from the Heinrich Hoffmann company also feature prominently in this sale. Lot #105, a Hoffmann clear crystal perfume bottle with a frosted stopper and dauber, is estimated at $600 to $1,200. This six-inch tall example was produced in 1926 in Czechoslovakia and features a well-rendered nude woman as its dauber.
Heinrich Hoffmann (Czech, 1875 – 1939) was best known for his ability to design luxurious decorative and functional art from glass. He began his career at the turn of last century selling glass jewelry in Paris. The work of René Lalique was of great interest to him and significantly influenced his creative direction. Hoffmann’s vanity items– like this decanter– had a distinctly Art Deco to Art Nouveau look and feel to them. Hoffmann outsourced his glass manufacturing to a number of Czech contract factories and cottage workers.
Christian Dior Lipstick Holder
This lovingly assembled sale rounds out with atomizers, boxes, displays, and other vanity-related rarities. Lot #306, a crystal Christian Dior lipstick holder, is estimated at $100 to $200. This dramatic, arrow shaped accessory measures four inches long and has a gold colored tubular sleeve which integrates elegantly into the holder’s square shaped base.