Gorgeous antique French Louis XVIII, Charles X to Louis Philippe era .800 (nearly sterling) silver bladed 8" dessert, luncheon or entremet sized knife set with elegant solid mother of pearl handles, silver inlaid carthoche sans monogram and beautifully ornate stylized seashell accented silver caps & collars! A elegant as can be, very French with the pearl & silver, the blades are all hallmarked and date between 1819-1838. The caps & collars on the handles bear no hallmarks but they're also silver of course. The blades all bear the French "Socrate" or Socrates and "Hercule" hallmarks, the both narrow the date of manufacture to those above and also designate them as being in .800 or better silver content (at least 80% pure so just under the .925 standard for "sterling" silver). The slightly lower silver content is quite common in knife blades, giving them added strength over pure sterling which would have more of a tendency to bend due to it being a softer metal. There are three silversmith marks among the blades, what appears to be "NB", "LC" and "TP" but I've not been able to find reference in our guides, perhaps the works of apprentices? In any event, the set is simply stunning. Fabulous!
Very good to excellent condition. There is some visible tarnish in the recessed decoration of the silver handle caps & collars. No damage to note, no chips, cracks or repairs to the pearl handles. Just wonderful! See pictures for weight and measurements.