Absolutely fabulous antique French hallmarked sterling silver 85pc flatware set, a 6pc table setting for TWELVE (minus a small knife) with beautifully ornate Louis XV or Renaissance style pattern with sinuous vines or tendrils, acanthus accents, interlaced "DG" monograms and all in wonderful condition! Thick & heavy old French sterling silver and the style is undeniably elegant. Comprehensive! The set includes a 12/12 service in the larger dinner sized forks & spoons and 12/12 in the entremet or luncheon sizes of each, completed by a rare matching 12/12 set of knives with sterling silver handles and newer stainless steel blades. There are also six teaspoons, a large soup ladle, meat carving knife & fork, salad knife & fork and fish serving knife & fork with engraved silver-plated blade & tines. If you're familiar with French flatware, the dinner sizes are generally larger than those made in England or the states and we generally use the smaller pieces on a day to day basis anyway. Wonderful! Louis XV or Renaissance style pattern with foliate vines & acanthus leaf accenting along with ribbon accented fluting along the shaped handles & stems. I've looked a bit online and in our French cutlery book but haven't found an exact pattern name as of yet (will add if or when I do) but similar styles are referred to both as Louis XV and Renaissance. All pieces bear the French Minerve or Minerva hallmark, the tiny number "1" within those marks means they're in .950 silver (95% pure and higher than the .925 standard for "sterling" silver). The silversmith marks for Maison Henri Soufflot (HS), Paris circa 1884-1910. Henri Soufflot had his master 'poincon' or marking registered on April 12th, 1884 at 89 Rue de Turbigo. A manufacturer of silverwares & fine silver cutlery, he succeeded Henri Chanailler, goldsmith at 56 Rue Meslay between 1867 and 1884. One can easily purchase a newer set of sterling flatware but the old crafted pieces like this 100+ year old set are finer, to my eye and others, and are an amazing bargain. Heirloom, museum quality at your table and holding or gaining value over time. What could be better? The feel of these heavy solid silver pieces in hand, and the atmosphere they create at your table.
A traditional wedding gift, these magnificent French sterling silver flatware sets were almost always packaged without knives (making this set quite rare with its inclusion of the matching 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. Extremely fine all, don't miss them! There are also more images available and necessary to fully appreciate the comprehensive nature of the set so, just email and we'll supply them. Thanks!
Very good condition. Some light surface scuffing, age considered they're fabulous! There is some faint dimpling to the filled sterling handles on the knives and larger serving pieces, some knife marks on fork tines also. As noted above, the blades on all twenty-four knives have been replaced with newer stainless steel ones (they would originally have been steel, as with that of the large carving knife, and would have had age/corrosion marks as you can see on that one piece). Some age darkening to the bowl and tines on the salad serving pair. No bends, breaks or repairs to note, all thick & heavy old French sterling silver. The chest and knife boxes are not original, the monogram on the chest is different but the pieces fit fine and it's a lovely display piece itself. The chest holds the ladle, all larger dinner sized pieces, six each of the medium sized luncheon or entremet forks & spoons, the six teaspoons and has a few spaces for more. There is no box for the larger serving pieces or the remaining 6/6 luncheon forks & spoons. The set has a total weight of 5750 grams or 185 troy ounces, the sterling silver pieces alone (minus all serving pieces except ladle, all knives with steel blades, etc.) weigh 116 troy ounces or 3620 grams. See pictures for all individual weights and measurements.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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