Accession Number
Small sterling silver box. Exterior is engraved with a basket weave pattern on the top and bottom and a cable strip running horizontally along the body. Both the top and bottom of the box have hinged openings. The top lid is slightly rounded and hinged along the long side of the box. The bottom opens along the short side of the box. A perforated steel screen sits loosely inside the box.
Vinaigrettes were often carried by European and North American people during the Victorian era. They typically contained a small sponge which held smelling salts (ammonium carbonate) or vinegar or a combination of these with perfume. Small perforated screens usually held the sponge into position. The vinaigrette’s top cover would be opened and the sponge sniffed by the user to mask an unpleasant odour. The vinaigrette’s sponge could be replenished when necessary. In the case of this vinaigrette, the bottom opened to reveal the sponge.

The last Dunsmuir descendant to regularly use this vinaigrette was John William Bryden (1869-1953). He used it as a snuff box. This vinaigrette’s Dunsmuir/Bryden family provenance makes it ideal for display in Craigdarroch’s period room setting.
History of Use
This vinaigrette is believed by the vendor, a Dunsmuir family descendant, to have been used by her great grandfather, John Cowper Bryden (1848-1915) on Vancouver Island in Nanaimo, Wellington, and in his retirement residence called Dalzellowlie in Esquimalt. She remembers that her grandfather John William Bryden (1869-1953), known to his family as “Poppy”, used it at his Gartley Beach house near Royston, Vancouver Island (near Cumberland and Courtenay). It was next inherited by the donor’s father, Gerald Robert Bryden (1913-1992), and then by his daughter, from whom it was acquired by The Castle Society.
2.4 x 2.2 x 3.9 cm
Metal, silver, sterling
Samuel Pemberton
Country of Origin
United Kingdom

Related people/businesses/organizations
John William Bryden (owner)
Samuel Pemberton (manufacturer)