Vintage Hip Flasks
Vintage hip flasks are thin containers traditionally used for storing alcoholic drinks.
History & Description
Hip flasks are designed so they can easily fit in a trouser pocket and their top is typically attached to the flask via a small arm which stops it from getting lost when removed. Alternative versions have a screw-on-cap which can be used like a shot glass.
Although inconspicuous vessels have been used to store alcohol since the Middle Ages, the modern profile of the hip flask began to appear in Georgian times and became very popular during the Victorian era.
Antique versions were made of pewter and glass and the most desirable were made of silver or gold and featured intricate engravings and etchings.
Guide for collectors
The most desirable vintage hip flasks are those that were made by the twentieth century’s leading silver or glassware companies such as Faberge, Tiffany & Co. and Cartier.
In addition, examples that used to belong to a celebrity are also prized among collectors. For example, on May 27th 2010 at The Fame Bureau, a hip flask that was given to John Lennon on his 20th birthday in Hamburg, Germany, dated 1960, realised a price of $2,100.
Notable auction sales
On September 29th 2007 at Pook & Pook Inc. in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, a blue decorated stoneware hip flask, dated 1853, realised a price of $16,000.
On June 12th 2008 at Sotheby’s in London, a Faberge silver hip flask, circa 1908-1917, realised a price of £3,125.
On April 30th 2006 at Millea Brothers Ltd. in Madison, New Jersey, a Cartier 14K gold hip flask realised a price of $2,700.
On December 5th 2010 at Rago Arts and Auction Center in Lambertville, New Jersey, a Tiffany & Co. Art Nouveau silver hip flask, circa 1892-1902, realised a price of $2,100.
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