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FABulous antique whimsey at its best in this charming Napoleon III era (c.1850-70) French liqueur service. The stand is unique and remarkable in its presentation, with a heavy solid-cast French Pierrot (clown) and his performing donkey, hand painted (cold painted). In very good condition for age, the painted surface is rich and colorful, still. Glassware has a mix-matched set of George Sand blue/gold glass cups paired with a clear and engraved design pair of decanters, so we know one or the other is not original to this set. I suspect it would have had the more colorful glassware, but the engraved glass is in keeping to the age as well, so could have been either one. As it stands, it is just wonderful. The French offer guests a liqueur (aperitif) before dinner and the sets one can find for such a tradition are wonderful - one more so than the next. Among all we've had and offered, this one certainly vies for my favorite. We are unsure of the metal on the figural cast. It is not a hollow specter-like cast we would find in the Blackamoor sets from this same period, however. It might be bronze underneath the paint but I hesitate to scrape into the paint to check it. The outer framework is a high gold-patina alloy that does not seem to tarnish. I do not mean that it has karat gold; only that it is a brass alloy that holds its finish. We did nothing to polish; only cleaned it.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, a nod to the fact of the mix-match glassware. The cold-painted figures remind one of the Austrian bronzes that were popular in the same era. I am not sure of the metal but it is a heavy solid casting. I'll double-check on that from the WH and annotate this listing when I'm certain. Glassware is without chips or cracks on pieces, is complete though not a matched set (unless it was originally put together in a harlequin mix, which I suppose is possible. Measurements are noted directly on the photos, but the stand is 13.5" tall. Look our photos over for all fine details.
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RARE Antique French Liqueur Service, Stand is a Clown, Pierrot and Donkey, Napoleon III c.1850
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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