Elegant, ornate PAIR of antique French 9.5" serving dishes, one in hallmarked sterling silver & vermeil and one silverplate: both raised on cabriole style feet or legs and both with a beautiful iris or floral Art Nouveau pattern! Another small mystery here, we've not had a perfectly matched pair of French pieces where one was hallmarked sterling silver an the other bearing no hallmarks and likely silverplate. Both are nearly identical in weight, both have the same feel and sound and the bas relief decoration looks the same front and back on each.... The piece with the hallmark differs in that it has a gilded or vermeil accenting inside the bowl and the legs are slightly different on each of the two pieces...other than that, you (and we) would be just sure they were both sterling. In any event, we're pricing as if one sterling and the other silverplate and we've not tested the one. The only hallmark that I can find is the French Minerve or Minerva mark, the tiny number "1" means it's in .950 silver (95% pure and higher than the .925 standard for sterling silver). We've been told that they may be for fruit, the silverplate piece for more acidic fruits but that still doesn't seem to make sense :). Anyway, a truly gorgeous antique French Art Nouveau styled pair and guaranteed to please the senses.
Very good-excellent condition. Some wear or fading to the vermeil on the one piece, if I kept them for myself I'd likely wheel polish them to remove the gilding so they'd be even more of an identical match (and I'd be happy to do so for the buyer, just let me know). No dents, damage or repairs. See pictures for individual measurements and weights.
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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