Fine antique French vermeil or gilded sterling silver Napoleon III era 15pc tea service or equipage consisting of twelve teaspoons, sugar tongs, tea scoop & strainer and all held in the original fitted ebony presentation box with brass inlay! Fabulous. A simple but elegant rococo style pattern to the handles, regal lion's paws on the sugar tongs. A complete fifteen piece set! The French Minerve or MInerva mark on all pieces, the small number "1" within that marking on the all but the strainer designate them as being in .950 silver (95% pure and higher than the .925 standard for sterling silver). The silversmith marks are for Claude VILLARD (CV), 3 rue Merciere, Paris & 3 Quai St. Antoine, Lyon circa 1866-1877. The box also bears the maker's label so it is definitely original, rare to find that. The strainer appears to be a replaced. All pieces nestled in the opulent fitted ebony storage box, brass strip or string inlays and a monogram cartouche adorn the lid. A beautiful ensemble.
Very good condition. There is some wear to the vermeil finish on several pieces, the silver beneath showing through. As noted, the tea strainer piece bears different hallmarks and is likely a replacement. The box is in great shape with just a small nip or two, a label on the bottom reads "Maison Audouard, C. Villard, 3 Quai St. Antoine, Lyon". See pictures for weight and measurements.
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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