Wonderful Napoleon III French sterling silver slive server, in superb condition with the original presentatiion box. Made by renowned master silversmith Philippe Berthier, active in Paris from 1841, there are several remarkable features regadring the decoration. First, note the tromp l'oeil embroidered tapestry chasing on the service end. I don't recall ever seeing this form of decoration on a silver piece; it is original and quite beautiful. The handle is decorated with elegant acanthus and laurel leaf and berry arrangements ate each end. Towards the tip is a strapped Renaissance floral embellishment. These decorative elements contrast with the simplicity of the remainder of the handle, it's sole additional ornamentation a monogram. Whene the handle attaches to the service end, a very nice strapped acanthus leaf mount, that would have to be called robust, as well as graceful and refined, and beneath the mount additional laurel leaf decoration. The original presentatiion box is in fair to good condition; minor signs of wear. the silverware is in very good to excellent condition; chiefly a function of how sturdy this piece is. So many antique pie servers have deformations of the blade due to their lack of bulk. Not this one. Another striking feature of this serving piece is it's size: over a foot long! The size and weight contribute a sense of grandeur to the piece. Also of note, both blade and handle are composed of sterling silver, .950 Frencj sterling standard. A wonderful gift, for yourself or someone else.
Marks: both handle and blade bear the Minerve 1st titre, the French .950 sterling guarantee, and the maker's punch for Philippe berthier.
Dimensions: The server is 12.5" long, 2.25" wide and weighs 110 grams, 3.5 troy ounces. The box: 13.75" long, 3.5" wide and 1 3/8" deep.
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