Bompart: VR Antique French Sterling & Crystal Confiturier: Swans, Dolphins: 1819-1836
One of the very finest confituriers I've seen. This exquisite piece crafted entirely in .950 sterling silver by Gabriel-Jaques-Andre Bompart, Paris 1819-1838. The handles are disguised as elegant swans, wreathed in garlands, with sinuously curved necks and superb artistry. The bowl rests atop several tiered base including four dolphins, breathtakingly beautiful dolphins, chased to perfection. The dolphins rest upon a circular mount, simply decorated with beaded borders (do NOT wish to distract the eye from these dolphins). The circular pedestal itself resting upon a square base, with four paw feet. The sides of the square base decorated with small and perfect acanthus leaf carved appliques. The paw feet are given breadth and heft with acanthus leaf and winged sides. The lid is simply decorated with a handle designed as a laurel wreath, attached to the lid with an amazing chased circular mount, lavished with a finely chased bell flower and stiff leaf border on an equally finely textured ground. The mount alone is just fabulous. There is a monogram on the lid, wreathed in laurel and crowned: letters could be "PLB". The crystal liner is wheel cut with three dimensional squares adding depth and brilliance to reflections (has an Escheresque feel, although of course predates Escher by some 70-90+ years). The rim with the holders for the vermeil spoons has a stiff leaf border, beneath yet another Escheresque border of spirals with raised circular centers (see Escher's "Spirals" dated 1953, or "Spheres" wood engraving 1945). As my interest in French sterling is greatly focused on the brilliant artistry executed with unequaled mastery, this piece has great appeal. The faces of the swans and dolphins endlessly engage my attention. Condition is very good to excellent. The only flaw: one of the spoon holders is slightly bent. There are 12 gold plated sterling (vermeil) spoons, also in excellent condition, of very simple design. The spoons bear the mark for Francois-Dominique Naudin and doubtless original to the confiturier. This is a prized piece; both highly collectible and immensely beautiful. One of our finest offerings.
Dimensions: The entire piece is a stately 10+" tall, width 9". The lid is 5" in diameter. The spoons are 6 1/8" long, 1 1/8" at the widest, and weigh 18 grams each. I have not weighed the confiturier because I am not going to take it apart (nope, just will not do it) and the weight of the crystal cannot be subtracted from the silver weight. You are not buying this piece for it's silver weight, most assuredly.
Marks include: the Vieillard .950 parts sterling guarantee, the Paris guarantees, for small items on the spoons, for large items on the confturier, both the .950 parts sterling silver guarantees, and the maker's marks for Bompart and Naudin.