Absolutely gorgeous antique French Napoleon III to Belle Epoque era 19pc sterling silver flatware set, Emile PUIFORCAT silversmith marks on this beautiful service for six in dinner sized forks & spoons with 13" serving ladle and six near matching ebony & silver handled knives! Thick, heavy old French silver built to last in style. All pieces have Emile Puiforcat (1857-1897) silversmith marks. The French Minerve or Minerva hallmarks marks also (the tiny number "1" within those marks designating .950 silver content (95% pure, higher than the .925 standard for "sterling" silver). Fabulous interlaced "W.L." monograms on the handle backs, also on the lid of the maroon storage box or chest. Instant family heirloom pieces to be enjoyed by you, your guests and, of course, your generations to come! Ornate Gothic or Renaissance style rattail patterns, as impressive as they come and a small but complete service for six all in one place. We recently sold a full service in this same beautiful pattern in fitted chest, complete at $23,995, service for 12. These match that service and are the largest and most costly pieces made (grande or dinner setting size which is massive, truly). It is about this size French flatware that one of my customers suggested they could be used to kill a guest if thrown, so be careful what you say at dinner, all. (smile) The ladle alone in this set is worth at least $500. Don't miss them!
Very good condition. Just recently professionally polished though they will have some slight surface marks, age and light use always a consideration in these fine antique sterling pieces. As noted, the knives are not original but the pattern on the silver caps & collars flanking the ebonized wood handles is so similar that they just had to go together. We've talked about the custom of knives generally not coming with sets, the symbolism of cutting a friendship if given as a gift and so on. That said, the knife blades are the original steel, not stainless, so they do have some age tarnish and/or corrosion visible but are lovely in that they're roughly the same age, French and fabulous. The box is original and in great shape, just as you see it. See pictures for all weights and measurements.
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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