English Silver Travel Necessaire Set

  • Circa: 1848
  • Stock #: Z203
  • Measurements: 2"h X 5.75"w X 2"d
  • Price: $585.00

This early English travel or necessaire set is extremely unique and rare. After extensive research, we were finally able to determine its purpose. The leather covered box is fitted with 4 items and was marketed as a personal respirator device. The slim narrow solid silver item is marked T. Wroughton Patented Respirator. The patent was granted to Thomas Wroughton on 26 August, 1846 and was described as “an apparatus or instrument to be used for respiration. It consists of a flat rectangular case containing sponge and perforated on its inner and outer faces with numerous holes. It is curved to fit the space between the lips and the gums so that it may be held there by the mere compression of the lips and be externally invisible-or nearly so-when in use.” It is most likely the sponge or wadding would have been dipped in menthol or resulting in inhaling therapeutic vapors. Basically it was an early inhaler! The “respirator” is hinged in order to secure the sponge. There is a small tweezers with a brush on one end. This was most likely used to insert and remove the wadding and to use for cleaning. The 2 small cut glass bottles have tight fitting silver caps which hold the liquid. One bottle still holds some wadding. The “respirator” still holds wadding inside as well. All 4 pieces have fine, delicate chasework. All are in excellent original condition-even the brush! All are matching and represent a complete set. What a superb example of early medical ingenuity.

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Items Count: 230