Antique 19th century French .800 silver & gilt vermeil 15-piece tea / coffee set. The set comprises of twelve spoons; a pair of sugar tongs tipped by stylized lion paws; tea strainer and elaborately scalloped tea caddy scoop. Each is beautifully decorated with intricate guilloche engraving. Further enhanced with applied oval cartouche with scalloped sea shell, beading and floral accents. Monogrammed with interlaced initials RP. Each piece is hallmarked with the French Minerve 2nd standard mark, depicting the head of the goddess Minerva with a number 2 beside her, designating a silver content of .800 silver (almost sterling). Bearing maker's marks for Jean Granvigne (sometimes spelled Grandvigne), active 1868 to 1889 at 30 rue des Gravilliers, Paris. A skilled silversmith generally considered to be one of the best French flatware makers of the nineteenth century. Granvigne did not have a shop where clients could come choose their flatware, but rather made patterns to the specifications of high-end retailers such as Maison Odiot and Emile Puiforcat. The set is in overall good condition, with light wear commensurate with age and appears to have hardly been used. Please see photos for measurements. Silver is heavy, solid with a good weight in hand. Total silver weight is 346.7 grams.
The set is complete and finely housed in the original presentation box. The box is of exquisite burl wood veneer (walnut?) with rosewood edging. Enhanced by an inlaid brass cartouche patterned with stylized scrolling foliage and fine engraved detailing, further embellished with mother of pearl and kingwood accents. Engraved with monogram RP, matching the monogram on the silverware. Opening to reveal a gorgeous royal purple satin and velvet fabric lined fitted interior in great condition for its age (showing little use). Retains a working lock and key. The exterior of the box presents well but shows some wear commensurate with age and use; some small nips and hairlines to the veneers. Some nibbles to the edge at the front above the lock with a right corner piece of black veneer missing on the inside edge. The top of the lid having some buckling at the center with some lifting of the brass inlay.
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