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Perfume Bottles





Coronet Flacons:


The Coronet Flacons (Crown Bottles), designed by Norina and were inspired by the Matchabelli the crown letterhead on the Prince's paper.

These were first formally introduced in 1928 and initially, they were made by Grigol Kobakhidze, or “George Coby,"  another Georgian emigrant who found success in the glass industry.  The crown shape bottle design was filed for a patent in 1927 by Georges Matchabelli and received a patent in 1928.

But George Coby went out of business in 1931 due to business failure stemming from the Great Depression and Matchabelli had to fill the void with imported bottles from France. These clear glass crowns with the gold trim were manufactured by the French company Cristal Romesnil, These will be marked with "Prince Matchabelli Bottle Made in France" on the base. Though I am unsure if they made the opaque glass bottles.

Starting in 1930, the crown bottles were produced of colored opaque glass in red, green, blue, black and white, unfortunately these are unmarked as to manufacturer so we do not know for sure who made them. At that time one of the best known French manufacturers of opaque colored glass perfume bottles was Cristalleries de Nancy. Some of the opaque colored glass crowns are marked Germany on the base, but I am unsure of who the maker was. These bottles are molded "Matchabelli" in the glass and acid marked "Germany" on the base.






I believe that production of the opaque colored glass bottles must have stopped before the second World War, when the importation of the bottles as well as the perfumes themselves were cut off to the United States and abroad.



The Matchabelli company needed to fill the void and looked to home for American suppliers for their bottles. This resulted in frosted glass bottles, clear glass bottles, clear glass bottles with gilt trim and clear glass bottles with colored enameling to simulate the opaque colored glass bottles. I first found reference to the use of the enamel and gold bottles in a 1935 newspaper ad. The Matchabelli firm must have been satisfied with the results as they continued to use these well after the war ended.

The high expense of importation of the opaque colored glass bottles themselves may have also figured into them being discontinued in favor of the cheaper, domestic made models of clear glass covered with enameling. Or perhaps the glasshouses were no longer making the bottles or closed (like Cristalleries de Nancy in 1934), or the glasshouses were damaged during the war. There are many possibilities.


The American bottles were probably cheaper to make, and were made up of clear glass with fired on enameled colors were made by Swindell, Bros., Inc., Baltimore, Md. Metal closures used on these bottles were manufactured by Chase Brass and Copper Co., Inc., New York. These bottles are simply marked with "Prince Matchabelli" on the base of the bottle. I believe that Swindell also made the frosted glass bottles too.

Some enameled glass bottles will be marked with "Prince Matchabelli Bottle Made in France" on the base, these might have been post-war made bottles as I found many for Wind Song.

Miniature bottles in one dram and two dram size crowns (the 2 dram crown was called the "Bibelot size") were offered in 1934 to help make perfumes more affordable to women during the Great Depression. These tiny bottles were also just the right size for carrying in the handbag. The fragrances available in these early dram bottles were: Ave Maria, Princess Marie, Princess Norina, Duchess of York, Queen of Georgia, Queen of the Nile, Grace Moore, Gardenia, Empress of India. Stradivari was added in 1943.

These little cuties were also presented in the Easter egg and Snowball perfume presentations.










Frosted Crowns:

The first time I see them mentioned is in a 1933 newspaper ad.

Some of the frosted crown bottles were made in France, perhaps by Romesnil as well, unfortunately these too are unmarked as to maker, so we do not know for sure. These bottles are simply marked with "Prince Matchabelli" on the base of the bottle. I believe that some were made by Swindell in America.

There are four sizes:
  • 0.25 oz =1.75" tall 
  • 0.50 oz = 2.25" tall
  • 1 oz = 2.5" tall  
  • 2 oz = 3.75" tall



Printer's Ink, 1944:
"The price of Stradivari in a frosted crown bottle is $1.50 to $2 less than in a gilded crown bottle."


Bottle Colors:

The color coding of the bottles initially (the names in quotes were those used by the company):
  • Queen of Georgia in red/gilded or frosted (1928)
  • Princess Norina in red/gilded, clear/gilded (1928)
  • Ave Maria in black/gilded, periwinkle blue/gilded,  clear/gilded, or frosted (1928)
  • Duchess of York in a periwinkle blue/gilded, pinkish red/gilded, red/gilded, clear/gilded, or frosted (1934)
  • Katherine the Great in white/gilded, frosted, clear/gilded (1935)
  • Beloved in "aqua" blue/gilded, periwinkle blue/gilded, willow green/gilded (1940)
  • Crown Jewel in clear/gilded (1946)
  • Wind Song in "willow green"/gilded, clear/gilded, white/gilded (1953)
  • Added Attraction in red/gilded (1956)
  • Stradivari in clear/gilded or frosted  (1953)
  • Jungle Flower in clear/gilded, clear (not frosted) or frosted
  • Georgian Carnation in frosted, clear/gilded  (1934)
  • Princess Marie in frosted, clear/gilded
  • Damas in clear (no frosting)
  • Golden Autumn in clear/gilded
  • Prophecy in clear/gilded, white/gilded
  • Empress of India in clear/gilded
  • Russian Easter Lily in clear/gilded
  • Princess of Wales in frosted


The crown shaped bottles often changed color schemes and you may find an Ave Maria in a different color bottle, etc. The crown bottles are highly collectible and some of them warrant higher prices, which is the case with the older perfume bottles with the opaque colored glass and glass cruciform stoppers..

Dating your bottles: The older Matchabelli crown shaped bottles are all glass, including the cross shaped stopper. These seem to command better prices than their plastic counterparts.

The tallest crown bottles stand 6 1/4" tall and the smallest measure just 1 5/6" tall.

The 1950s-1960s mini versions omit the cross and have a simple brass or plastic screw cap, these bottles measure 1 5/8" tall and 1 1/4" tall.


Large Crowns:

The large crown bottles holding sachet and cologne parfumee were manufactured by Swindell, and the metal caps were made by Chase Brass and Copper Co. (for the four ounce bottles) and by Brass Goods Manufacturing Co (for the smaller bottles).

The bottles can be found in clear glass, cobalt blue glass, amber glass and clear glass with an iridized surface finish similar to carnival glass shades of marigold and amethyst.

These were two different shapes, one looks like a very large crown shape with it's usual beading down the center, while the other is a more simplified crown shape without the beading in the center. These were both available in the one ounce size as well as the "magnum" bottle of four ounces. The larger sized bottle's metal caps have the Prince Matchabelli name engraved along the sides in cursive script.





Metal Crowns:

Solid brass crowns exist and are called "Crownettes", these small bottles have either ball shaped screw caps or the cruciform stoppers (rare). Some were meant to be suspended from necklaces and were sold with neckchains, others were made as solid perfume compacts and are hinged.


Sceptre Flacons:


Sceptre Bottles, first introduced in 1936 to hold cologne, talcum powder, bath oils, and liquid foundation makeup, were manufactured by Swindell, Bros., Inc., Baltimore, Md.  They were originally made with cruciform stoppers, but later they were topped with screw caps instead.



The mini sceptre bottles hold 1/8 oz of both cologne, after bath cologne and cologne parfumee - these bottles stand 2 1/2" tall x 1" diameter. These have either metal or plastic screw caps. Some labels are on the side of the bottle, others are on the base.



Cologne Flacons:


The Cologne Carols bottles are the flat disk shaped flacons used for colognes such as Potpourri, Summer Shower, Gypsy Patteran and others, these were also manufactured by Swindell, Bros., Inc., Baltimore, Md.



The four ounce frosted glass bottle debuted in 1948, and was manufactured by Swindell Brothers, with Kimble glass stoppers, and held Summer Frost cologne (a minty-lemony lime green cologne).

Metal closures used on these bottles were manufactured by Brass Goods Manufacturing Co. Deep River, Conn.




Other Bottles:


c1932 ad

Pyramid Bottle:


Made up of triangle of amber glass with a rectangular base, the amber ground glass stopper forms the peak of a pyramid. The front of the bottle is molded with the Matchabelli family crest. The base is acid stamped "Made in France" and "Prince Matchabelli". The bottle stands 3.5" tall. The bottle holds 1/2 oz of parfum in the following scents: Gardenia, Ave Maria, Empress of India, Jasmin, Carnation, Muguet, and Lilac.









c1935 ad



Purse Bottles:


Small cylindrical glass purse vials used for the "Spring Garden" (1952) corsage presentation were made by the Richford Corp., closures by Chase Brass and Copper.


Another purse bottle was housed inside of a black case trimmed with genuine mink fur. It held the perfumes: Wind Song, Added Attraction, Stradivari, Beloved, and Crown Jewel.





Damas Bottle:


This beautiful clear crystal flacon with the sloping shoulders was created to hold 1.5 oz of Damas perfume. It features a ground glass stopper molded with the Matchabelli M and crown logo. The glass bottle stands 3.5" tall by 3" long. The box measures The box stands 4" tall by 4" long, and is marked "Made in France". I believe this bottle debuted in the early 1930s.





Atomizers:

In 1930, Francois Nazare invented a new type of perfume atomizer for Prince Matchabelli. This atomizer contained inert gas which would help prevent the perfume from evaporating or turning bad by being exposed to oxygen. The invention was granted a patent in 1932, serial number US1875821 A.



Life, 1933:
"Loyal Scent Squirts TWO princes, Georges Matchabelli and Francois Nazare-Aga, put their royal heads together over the newest and most original perfume atomizer ever presented. It squirts perfume in a 3-speed mist, heavy, medium and thin, operating on precisely the same principle as a Sparklet bottle. Into this new Matchabelli atomizer, which .. Few perfume atomizers perform satisfactorily, as the alcohol in the perfume soon corrodes the metal pipe through which the scent is siphoned to the surface. But Matchabelli's Atomizer runs no such risks. Just as long as the Sparklet plug remains charged, perfume comes sizzling out in misty showers.



Francois Nazare, incidentally worked as the general manager for Guerlain, Inc from 1929 until 1932, when he accepted the position of general manager of Dorothy Gray. New York, toilet preparations. He was well known to the toilet goods trade having been connected with Guerlain, Dorothy Gray, and more recently with Lucien Lelong. In 1938, he was appointed sales manager for Parfums Schiaparelli, Inc.  In 1941, Francois Nazare, while still in charge of the East coast territory for Parfums Schiaparelli, Inc., left for military duty in France. 


Packaging:


Paper boxes, cartons, packaging was made by both Warner Bros. Co. of Bridgeport, Conn, and Shoup-Owens Corp. of Hoboken, NJ.

The Plexiglas or Lucite acrylic containers/cases were manufactured by Industrial Conversions, Inc.

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