Antique American silver overlay hip flask

Antique American silver overlay hip flask

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Antique American hip flask with glass body, silver collar and fitted with a domed, one-twist, bayonet cover. The glass body features hand engraved silver openwork overlay in a scrolled leaf pattern that is enhanced with hand engraving. The slide-off silver cup fits to the lower half of the silver flask and has a gilded interior.

In 1889, the decorative technique of applying sterling silver designs to glass was patented by Oscar Pierre Erand and John Benjamin Round for Stevens & Williams Ltd in Birmingham and silver overlay found its first wave of popularity in the early 1900s.

Sterling silver was applied to glass by a chemical method so that a cut-out design of silver metal appears against a clear or coloured glass background. Where the silver was thick enough a silversmith might further embellish the piece with hand engraving.

From 1895 to the early 1920s the art of silver overlay had a fervent following and became a decorative rage. It was particularly popular in America. The silver designers would choose patterns that complemented the piece, for instance this perfume flask is decorated with swirling flowers, where a waterscape of bulrushes might decorate a water jug, or a wine jug could feature intertwining grapevines.

Capacity: 200ml


Height 155 mm / 6 "
Width 75 mm / 3 14"
Depth 40 mm / 1 34"