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South Staffordshire Enamel Combined Scent Bottle and Bonbonniere

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Dates Circa 1750
Medium Enamel
Origin England
Description A very rare South Staffordshire enamel combined scent bottle and bonbonniere modelled as the head and shoulders of Flora McDonald. The detachable head reveals a bottle shaft. Painted with a typical Scottish tartan-patterned dress or shawl, her cheeks are heavily rouged, and there is a pink flower in her hair. The metal-mounted hinged lid of the bonbonniere is painted with flowers.

Flora MacDonald (1722–1791) was a member of the Clan MacDonald of Sleat. She is best known for helping Charles Edward Stuart evade government troops after the Battle of Culloden in April 1746. Her family generally backed the government during the 1745 Rising, and she later claimed to have assisted Charles out of sympathy for his situation. She died in 1790.

The likeness of this enamel scent bottle is ascribed to being taken from a portrait of Flora MacDonald commissioned by herself by Richard Wilson in 1747, now in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

7.5cm High

Condition Typical associated cracks to the enamel.
Literature Bernard and Therle Hughes, English Painted Enamels, p.120 no. 69.

Museum collection: Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art, Philadelphia, USA.