Elegant antique French Napoleon III era 12pc entremet, dessert or cheese knife set with ebonized wood handles, ornate rococo style sterling silver collars or ferules and hallmarked solid .800 (nearly sterling) silver blades! This service of fine ebonized wood handled & .800 (nearly sterling) silver to sterling silver bladed & trimmed knives are just the thing to set out with entrement silver or for fruit and/or cheese service. The blades all bear the French Minerve or Minerva hallmark, the outer shape and tiny number "2" within those marks means they're in .800 or better silver (at least 80% pure so just under the .925 standard for "sterling" silver). The silversmith marks are for Denis Luneteau, Paris circa 1853-1868. The elegant combination is stunning on your table - ebony handles and old French silver add a richness that is unparalleled. Combine them with your existing entremet spoon/fork sets to complete a dessert setting or entree, salad. Don't miss them!
Very good condition. A faintly visible age or drying split in one or two in the wood handles. One knife blade appears to have a small 'push' in the sharper edge, about an inch from the tip. See pictures for measurements.
re KNIVES: A traditional wedding gift, these magnificent French sterling silver flatware sets were almost always packaged without knives. Why is this? Another French tradition has to do with the gift of knives or a knife as a symbol of the cutting or ending of a relationship. And no where on earth is tradition more important, perhaps, than to the French culture. So, in light of the symbolism of the gift, knives were not part of a wedding gift, not packaged or even usually made with the matching pattern of the forks, spoons in a set, and are something added later and as compliments to the table's sterling silver choice. And ever the center influence in fashion, this also opportuned the happy result of knives made in coordinating and complimenting fashion with handles of rich elegant mother of pearl, fine ivory, blond natural horn, or exotic hardwoods like ebony (a French Empire 'must') walnut, rosewood. The result is that you can add sets of knives to compliment and define your table setting.