$340,000 perfume bottle auction caps off convo

LAS VEGAS – The International Perfume Bottle Association (IPBA) celebrated 25 years during its convention in Las Vegas May 1-5.

The organization, which got its start in Las Vegas in 1988, began with a group of 375 members. That number has grown to include more than 1,000 members hailing from 20 different countries. The annual convention remains one of the integral aspects of the organization’s offerings, and this year’s event was no different. One of the highlights of the 2013 convention was a perfume bottle auction hosted by celebrity auctioneer Nicholas Dawes of “Antiques Roadshow” fame.

 Miniature wooden, silk-lined Victrola cabinet, circa 1920s, including 27 blown glass bottles, sold for $9,600. (Photo courtesy International Perfume Bottle Association)

Miniature wooden, silk-lined Victrola cabinet, circa 1920s, including 27 blown glass bottles, sold for $9,600. (Photo courtesy International Perfume Bottle Association)

While many perfume bottles from well-known perfumers and glass makers such as René Lalique and Julian Viard sold for thousands of dollars, one novelty perfume presentation of unknown origin generated widespread interest and intense bidding, before the gavel fell at $9,600. This featured item was a miniature wooden Victrola cabinet housing an assortment of Czech manufactured commercial bottles.

In addition to this fascinating lot, other standout items in the auction included an Art Nouveau pendant scent bottle previously owned by the daughter of a Schiaparelli model; as well as a Prince Matchabelli Wind Song factice – which was given as a prize in 1958 and is one of only of two believed to still be in existence.In fact, the Matchabelli Perfume Company was founded in 1926 after Prince Matchabelli fled his home in the Georgia region of Russia, for the United States.

This year’s auction realized a fantastic $340,000, and carried on the IPBA’s tradition of hosting one of the longest-running perfume bottle auctions in the world.

Art Nouveau sterling silver pendant scent bottle. (International Perfume Bottle Association)

Art Nouveau sterling silver pendant scent bottle. (International Perfume Bottle Association)

A highlight of the convention was the unveiling of a new reference, “The History of the IPBA,” by Barbara W. Miller. The book explores the history of the organization, including development of the group in the early years through today – a group with thousands of members in 19 countries.

Dr. Petr Novy, head curator of the Museum of Glass and Costume Jewelry, in Jablonec nad Nisou (Czech Republic) and author of “Ingrid – Heinrich Hoffman, Curt Schlevogt,” also captivated the attention of many with his presentation on Bohemian and Czech perfume glass from the 18th century to the present.

Looking ahead, the IPBA’s 2014 convention will be held in Pittsburgh, Pa., April 30-May 4. For more information, visit www.perfumebottles.org or write to International Perfume Bottle Association, P.O. Box7644, Northridge, CA 91327.

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