Elegant & rare antique French Napoleon III to Belle Epoque era 24pc 9 3/4" dinner & 8 1/8" luncheon or entremet sized knife set, a 2pc table setting for twelve with gorgeous genuine horn handles and Empire style sterling silver caps & collars or ferrules! Aren't these great! Empire style laurel bands in the silver caps & collars, bows & ribbons with crossed arrow filled quivers and torches! Superb! Of course, with these silver smaller pieces as you see on the ends of the handles, they rarely bear hallmarks but we're certain they're sterling silver. All pieces with the original steel blades, marked "Au Gaulois" on the larger and "Vitoux Epernay, Virole Argent" on the smaller. A marvelous addition to your fine sterling silver table service, don't miss them!
Meant to compliment a fine set of antique sterling silver dinner flatware and as wonderful as can be. The old knives are always best with antique flatware but they're often hard to find, especially in such presentable shape. A traditional wedding gift, 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 iv ry, 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.
Good-very good condition. As you can see in the images, there are tarnish and/or corrosion spots on the original steel blades (not stainless) but no real notable damage. No breaks or other damage to the horn and no damage or repairs to the silver caps & collars. The box appears original and is in fine shape, age considered, though may not be original to the set. See pictures for measurements.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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