Absolutely fabulous antique French PUIFORCAT hallmarked sterling silver 71pc flatware set, a 6pc table setting for TWELVE (minus a small knife) with beautifully ornate Louis XV style pattern with seashells & sinuous tendrils 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 complimenting 12/11 knives with ebony or ebonized wood handles and sterling caps & collars. 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 style pattern with seashell shapes and sinuous fluting. I've looked a bit online and in our French cutlery book but haven't found the pattern name as of yet (will add if or when I do). All pieces (except knives) 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). Silversmith marks for Maison Emile Puiforcat (EP). The Puiforcat name is world renowned for the quality of their design and goods, and if one were to purchase a similar heavy Puiforcat set as you see here, new today at Puiforcat, Paris, the cost would be astounding - a single tablespoon will be priced 800 euro. Look online to find the store and prices if you think it is not accurate. And the old crafted pieces like this 140 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. 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 to excellent condition. Some light surface scuffing, age considered they're fabulous! No bends, breaks or repairs to note, all thick & heavy old French sterling silver. The knives are not original to the set but compliment them wonderfully and are also of French origins. The stainless blades are in great usable condition and are marked "Vilebrequin" (French, Thiers). An age split to several of the ebony wood handles, visible in the images. 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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