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Bernard Perrot Amber Scent Bottle

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Dates Circa 1680
9.00cm high (3.54 inches high)
Origin France
Description An extremely rare Bernard Perrot amber coloured glass flaçon scent bottle, moulded with fleur de lys on one side as the symbol of the Bourbons and flaming hearts on the other, denoting the house of Orléans.

Original pewter mount and screw lid.

French - Bernard Perrot - Manufactory Late 17th Century (1680-1709)

The sole glassmaking business in Orléans in the final decades of the 17th century belonged to Bernard Perrot and it is probable that this scent bottle was made in his glasshouse. Originally Bernardo Perroto, as his name suggests Perrot was one of the many Italian glassmakers working in France at this time. He came from Altare, in northern Italy, where glassmaking had been an important industry since medieval times. Unlike the Venetians, the town of Altare actively encouraged their skilled glassmakers to seek their fortunes abroad. Glassmen from Altare first established themselves in Lyons and an off-shoot of this group went to Nevers in the late 16th century. A group from there went in turn to Orléans in the second half of the 17th century. Perrotto arrived in Nevers in 1647 and followed in the footsteps of his predecessors to Orléans, establishing his own glasshouse their in 1668. He sought to safeguard his business from competition in the region by petitioning the duc d'Orléans for protection.

In 1671 he was granted a privilege or monopoly to make glass in Orléans and to be the only glassmaker operating along the banks of the Loire. In the same year his noble status as a gentleman glassmaker 'gentilhomme verrier' was ratified by the duke. He gained additional rights by patenting his inventions: for example in 1668 the secret of translucent red glass production and enamelling in different colours on glass, and in 1682 production of glass imitating porcelain and agate. Later in 1687 he patented a method of making large flat pieces of glass by pouring molten glass onto a table. This technique was used for making large mirrors and large decorative medallions of the king and the duc d’Orléans. Perrot had a shop in Orléans from 1671 and in 1692, an additional one on the quai de l’Horloge in Paris. He made many different types of glass objects besides perfume bottles, for example: bottles for alcohol, medicine and oil, carafes, glasses, beakers, jugs, wall-lights, chandeliers, powder containers, salts, fruit dishes, and glass apparatus for barometers and experiments. He died in 1709 without any children but members of his extended family continued glassmaking in the environs of Orléans until the 1750s.