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Tiny Bottle

A tiny, vintage glass bottle inside an antique, sterling silver sleeve. The bottle is 29 mm (almost 3 cm) in length and of unknown age. It is irregular and appears to be hand blown. The sterling sleeve was found at a flea market. It is marked with 3 sterling hallmarks: rampant lion, the symbol for British sterling silver 925. The anchor for the city of Birmingham where it was made. And a lower case 'b' which signifies the year 1901. This little sleeve is 113 years old.

It is a wonderful pairing: the two objects seem made for each other. I have been thinking I might keep it for my own use. You see, I have a personal interest in Birmingham. I am descended from a family of Birmingham born artists. They moved to Liverpool and London to pursue their art practice. One lived in Somerset House in London and was a friend and resident engraver to the artist Fuseli. One attended the Royal Academy in London in the 1790's when it was still a fledgling institution. His name was Matthew and he was a classmate of JMW Turner, the landscape painter. He returned to Liverpool, was a friend of William Roscoe and a staunch abolitionist. I've been lucky enough to find fascinating information on them, including portraits and written descriptions from the 1790's. If I do make this piece I will post the entire narrative.


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