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COMPERE: 1888 Antique French Sterling & Vermeil Ice Cream Service
As per the Bonheur-du-Jour mission: a unique and fine antique French sterling silver and vermeil ice cream or dessert service, complete with original fitted presentation box. Created by celebrated Parisian master silversmith Vve. Leontine Compere, this service boasts magnificent decorative elements in Renaissance style. The handles taper from chased acanthus leafs to ornate stylized griffins in a lacy bed of scrolling acanthus leafs. The chasing on the vermeil gives the set a mixed metal effect, furthering the decorative appeal. The handles are hefty, belying the delicacy of the chasing and design. The service ends are silver plated with 22k gold, then engraved with more mythical creatures, as well as creatures of the hunt. Each creature embedded in elegant cartouches, replete with floral and foliate embellishment. Easily one of the finest such services I've seen. The fitted box is lined with green velvet and creamy white satin, all in good condition; it is covered in gold tooled hide. Condition of every piece is excellent. The photos in no way do justice to this incredible service, despite numerous efforts on my part to take photos that could portray the sheer mastery of the workmanship and stunning design.
All pieces are marked with the maker's punch for Vve. Leontine Compere, active in Paris in 1888, who succeeded her husband Ernest Compere (1868-1888). In addition, the large parts are marked with the Minerve 1st titre; the French guarantee for .950 parts silver sterling. The small parts are marked with the Tete Sanglier, or Boar's Head; the guarantee for a minimum of .800 parts silver. Please see the photographs for dimensions. Each server weighs approximately 130 grams, and each spoon 43 grams. The total weight of the service is a most impressive 776 grams! A rare opportunity to acquire a truly unique and sublime antique French sterling silver ice cream service.
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